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"house // home," by anonymous

you’re homesick for a place that doesn’t exist— they call this hiraeth, a word which sounds all too pleasant for what it means— for what it means is a home you can’t go back to. what it means for you is longing for a glass-castle card-house, its spines made from some poor animal’s vertebrae and poised to arch up toward the sky like they’re trying to skewer you through the heart, white stag. you must remind yourself of these things, because when time is spent away from the glass-castle card-house, it begins to look more like a castle on a hill than the emotional slaughterhouse it is instead. you must remind yourself of these things, because others will tell you that sand turns to both pearls and glass when under the right conditions. these things are true, yes, but what is also true is that sand in one’s eye doesn’t turn to pearl or glass— you just need to view yourself as an oyster, as a fire, and mind over matter will turn the glass-castle card-house into a sea of pearls with stained glass windows; the ones telling you this are the ones who grew up in a sea of pearls with stained glass windows— and so, reminding yourself of these things, you turn to the entry in your journal titled “hiraeth” and you write yourself a little definition— this is a home you can’t return to without gathering sand in the eyes and sand in the feathers, this is a home you can return to with your head held high and your gaze lifted to the tops of the trees, this is a home that exists and doesn’t exist, just as you’ve always felt you both exist and don’t exist, just as you know your salvation both exists and doesn’t exist. this is a house that leaves the lights on in an effort to convince itself that it is still a home and not a house, still a beating heart and not a shell, still a voice that comforts and not a shout that shatters. (you belong to it as much as you belong to the dirt you played with as a child, the cement you scraped your knee on, the garbage can you rode your bike into.) (you belong to what hurts you as much as that house belongs to who built it.)

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