carry me home

carry me home, mixed media on canvas panel, 6×6 inches

My mom is now on her way back to the East coast. We had a very nice week together and I miss her already.

My husband and I are both transplants here in the Pacific Northwest, as it seems a lot of people are. I’m from the East Coast and he is from the Midwest. We came here to follow our dreams and to make a home here. And we have. But I feel like something is missing…that feeling of being connected to a place. Roots. Home. I’m always struggling with the concept of “home”. Isn’t home just a feeling, something that I carry inside of me? Something embodied in my little family, in the people I love? If that’s the case, then why do I still feel myself searching…

I’m reading a really good book right now written by Ami McKay called The Birth House and last night I read a little paragraph that struck a chord in me:

“When you’ve got no family to speak of, no one knows who you really are. I suppose that’s what they want, running off like that from home, like they’ve got something to hide”

This was said derisively by one of the characters about these women who had left their villages back in the early 1900’s, so the context from today’s world is totally different. But I know that I left home searching for something. For myself, as we do when we’re young and full of hope and dreams and possibility. But I was also running away from myself, my past, for sure. Wanting to reinvent. I have found and encountered so much and yet something is always tugging me back.

I love it here so much, but maybe place isn’t enough. It’s about connections, people, family. Decisions, decisions. Do I possibly have it in me to pick up and move across the country again? Will I find my happiness there? I know that I can’t chase happiness around the map. It’s within. I know this. And yet…

I forsee myself working through these issues about home through my artwork throughout this year.


  1. well, i think it would be very cool if you moved to the east coast! 🙂 but i do understand…i’ve often wanted to live on the west coast (the pacific northwest in particular), but i haven’t felt like i could live that far from my family.

    p.s. i awarded you a “you make my day” award on my blog because you are a constant source of inspiration and you’re a lovely person on top of it all! so thank you! 🙂

  2. I know what you mean, as I’ve lived in several different places in my life (seems like I uproot myself every ten years). Living far away from Hawaii and my family does put you in that ‘searching’ mode. That feeling finally went away (when we were in Saudi Arabia) when I realized that home is where the heart is and that my home is no longer what it was, but is now what it is with the life that I have with my husband and son. And that will be wherever it is that we are.

  3. I can relate to you as well. Did you happen to catch 20/20 on happiness? We all know it’s NOT a place – but you already know what it is – a sense of community with others. When you are close to your family that makes a big difference. So I do think it’s place + community. I can’t WAIT to move from here. My family is not here and on top of that there is NO sense of community.

  4. Like all the other posts, I can relate. I grew up on the east coast, moved to Tacoma washington when I got married, then after my first son, I made us move back. When he hit 2 and all of the neighbor kids were going to see grandparents or cousins for the weekend, I felt the loss of not living around family. We moved back with no jobs or anything. That was 13 years ago. I still wonder what our lives would be like if we stayed. I am glad we moved, but honestly it would not have been horrible if we stayed. I love that part of the country.
    Great painting. I love the blues you use.

  5. As someone who has moved, a lot, from coast to coast, in search of that elusive feeling of home, I am happy to say that I have finally found a place that feels like home to me. I think I’ve been able to finally develop a sense of community too because I feel safe to put down roots here. Maybe it would have been different if I felt really strong ties to my family, but, for me, places can definitely create that sense of home. And I usually know it within minutes of being in a place whether it will feel like home or not.

  6. Andrea, Your post made me think about what I gained/lost in our move from Wa.
    I came up with a pro/con list..
    family,kids relationship with grandparents…cannot duplicate the unconditional love they get there, feeling of belonging to an area, safety net of family and friends when things get really tough,
    Miss Wa. State beauty and differences (ocean, rainforest, farmland…),can be pigeoned-holed by friends and family by who they think you are, rather than who you have becomeor are evolving into,NH (where we are) is a much more conservative area,and finally, there are times when family is not quite what it is cracked up to be!(few and far between…)

  7. Found you through Leah – I was very struck at first by this image – the nest, combined with the fiber and text – it resonates with some of my work from the past 12 months. I too have been thinking a lot about home, particularly how people can become home or feel like home to us, and I’ve been using a lot of the same imagery. Birds – they fly free, and they nest. Somehow, this seems to sum up the relationship I have with the notion of home.

  8. michelle- your last comment about family made me laugh because you have a very good point there!

    bridget~thank you for visiting and for your comment. I agree with you about how people/relationships can feel like “home”. Just visited your blog~will return!

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