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From the Outside Looking In


By Alexa Llewellyn



April 28, 2003

Homeward Bound

And each town looks the same to me

The movies and the factories

And every stranger's face I see

Reminds me that I long to be

Homeward bound

I wish I was

Homeward bound

Home, where my thought's escaping

Home, where my music's playing

Home, where my love lies waiting

Silently for me

-- Simon and Garfunkel

St. John of the Cross called this time "the dark night of the soul."

It's when you are longing for something that you just can't identify. It's on the tip of your tongue. It's in the middle of your forehead. But you can't vocalize it. You can't scream it out. You can't sing it softly.

Have passport and willing to travel.

You dream of it. It wakes you up in the middle of the night. It creeps up on you when you are daydreaming. It confronts you when your heart refuses to sing. It makes you search a face that you are not able to find and who you hope is searching for you.

Have passport and willing to travel.

As a veteran of eight schools during my childhood, I always longed for a place to belong to. I keep looking for the one place that has the welcome mat out for Alexa.

Have passport and willing to travel to home.

Change always makes me re-evaluate what I have in my hand. My job is changing. Friends are leaving for better climes. It makes me long to find a place where they recognize my face, happily call out my name, and where I fit in their arms. Safe in their arms. A place to belong.

Have passport and willing to find home.

Over the last several weeks, my staff and I have been putting doorhangers on people's doors to promote an event. I would find a beautiful home and imagine myself living there. Or put a doorhanger on a cute apartment and try to see myself stretched on the couch on the other side of the door.

Have passport and willing to find home.

I have taken to going to coffee houses in different neighborhoods throughout the city and trying to create a whole new fiction of what my new life could be like. A waitress in the Excelsior, a book seller in the Sunset, a clothes seller in the Mission, a barrista in the Marina.

Have passport and am ready to find home.

A job brought me to San Francisco. I know others who came here because they fell in love with the city. They can't imagine anywhere else to live. They have found their home. Good for them!

Have passport and am ready to find home.

Someday, I'll find my home. Maybe it will be in Paris near the Seine. It could be in Madrid near the Palace. It might be in Libson over a cafe.

Have passport in hand and am ready to find home.

I could distribute food in Basra. I could be a journalist in Kuwait City. I could be a human rights monitor in Tehran. In Moscow, I could teach English. In Belgrade, I could teach American literature. In Prague, I could teach computers. But somewhere I belong...

Have passport and am ready to find home.

I could work for the United Nations in Johannesburg. I could help build a water system in Cameroon. I could teach business skills to women in Lagos.

Have passport and am ready to finally find my home.

My best friend's motto is "Bloom where you are planted." Her mantra is that if you find yourself in the middle of a desert, create a garden. Even if it's not your garden, make it beautiful.

Fill it with kind words and a loving heart. If you feel out of place, make sure that others don't. Water them with encouragement, fertilize them with kindness, and watch them grow and thrive.

And if you haven't found the path back to your heart and your home, help others find the way back to theirs. Because who knows? They may someday help you find your way back to where you belong. Where someone are waiting for you with open arms.

Have passport and want to finally find my home.