In this episode, Jimmy & Alanna analyze a few utterly ridiculous scenarios before jumping into the topic of home: what does it mean to be “at home”? How does our origin affect who we become, and what is our role in reclaiming it if it’s been broken or lost? Listen in as two friends share thoughts on this multifaceted subject, with its particular offshoots of loneliness, friendship, and choosing to be rooted.
Today’s conversation starts somewhat randomly with a ridiculous would-you-rather from Alanna, which provides two less-than-desirable options. Jimmy gamely responds and then listens as Alanna gives her aghast reaction. Jimmy, unperturbed, waxes poetic on the value of peanut butter. The convo goes to carbs – Jimmy hold the hard opinion that carbs are worthless; Alanna can’t do without them. “It’s not that I don’t like them; I just don’t respect them,” Jimmy says. Alanna mentions the documentary Fed Up, which explores the destructive side of sugar.
Talk of comfort food brings up the topic of home. “Home is what it means to belong,” Jimmy says, and goes on to shares lyrics from a song by Colony House called “This Beautiful Life.”
What is the meaning of it all?
To fall in love, to make a life that’s calm and stable
Or just to find a place where I belong?
What is the peace that I can find?
This longing for, I can’t ignore but am I able
To see the good and taste it on my tongue?
This well has long been dry
What does it cost to find a home
For what’s been lost?
Jimmy explains how this kind of music leads him to really ponder mysteries. Jimmy shares about his own experience of homecoming, and the profound sense of home that arises during the Christmas season. He also experiences “home” whenever he travels to England and visits his good friends there. A feeling comes over him during these times that he is exactly where and who he should be in that moment.
Alanna goes back to the lyric line, “What does it cost to find a home for what’s been lost?” and says that this idea of loss resonates for her, because her experience of home/homecoming differs from Jimmy’s. “I think of certain people as home,” she explains. Her upbringing, which happened in a somewhat dysfunctional home, has inspired within her with an ambiguous yearning. She brings up C.S. Lewis, who focused on the topic of human yearning in his essay The Weight of Glory. We all have a hunger to be on the inside of something beautiful. Alanna talks about how she feels in nature: everything knows its place. You don’t see trees going through existential crises – they are being exactly what they were made to be, and you sense the deficit in yourself; you sense the yearning of the “not yet”.
Jimmy says he gets an existential crises every nine months – meaning, he finds himself once again asking the big questions of “Who am I? Where do I belong? What is my contribution? Where is my place? Where am I at home?” Happiness and fruitfulness are wrapped up in this, he says; they’re somehow intimately tied to these questions and what we do with them.
Alanna: “Where do you learn where you belong? Who gives the language to break that code? Mentorship is crucial, because we can’t interpret ourselves to ourselves. On our own, we’re blind to our own motivations and desires. When we surround ourselves with trustworthy people who have a pure intention, we find out who we are and where we belong a little more easily. Across humanity there is a shared grappling: these are fundamental questions. And there’s a comfort in that.”
Jimmy shares that he loves the early time of the day, when he’s up before anyone else. This is the time of day when he has that healthy ache – the ache of yearning. He thinks about his happy places in the morning and comes alive at those memories. Switzerland; his dad’s home; his mom’s home at Christmas time; Long Buckby, England. Places he can be at rest, people he can be at rest with. Alanna shares that being by bodies of water brings her a similar sense of home. She grew up next to a river, and has always been mesmerized by the paradoxical dynamism and constancy of water.
She asks Jimmy to share about a time he has felt excluded from the feeling of home, and how he has reacted to that sensation.
Jimmy says that this feeling is not infrequent in his life. “There’s probably a significant moment once or twice a month when I just feel lonely.” When he’s traveling and going to a place where he doesn’t know anyone, he is sometimes pervaded with a sense of not belonging. He reflects on how he wishes he could have tapped into those emotions instead of avoiding them/freaking out/distracting himself with senseless noise.
Alanna shares this experience – the occasional sense of being alone, almost on a molecular level. “We need to acknowledge those feelings and sensations for what they are. They’re neither good nor bad, they’re neutral. It’s how we react that matters. We distract ourselves because deep down we know we will never be totally satiated.
Jimmy says we should fill ourselves with people, music, and beauty so as to enter into these very universal experiences of the human heart.
Listen to Rebecca Roubion’s song “I Don’t Know Who I Am” and Scott Mulvahill’s song “Indefensible Indefensible” on Love Good’s Exclusive Fall Sampler!
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