I Am Listening To The Sounds of Words Running Wild in These Four Walls


  I am thinking of this:

“You can’t go home again.”

I am thinking of  this and of Tom Wolfe and what is Home and is it true.

I am thinking  “You can’t go home again,”

and I am listening.

My husband and my son are home writing this week. All three of us, writing.

My husband is putting the final touches on a book he is writing.

My son is writing a speech he will give the night before he graduates

from a school he has attended for 9 years.

I am listening to them write.

Me? I write in silence. Silence.

My husbands feet can be heard upstairs in his office beating out the time to the bluegrass banjo, or the Dylan tune, or the Stones. He is pounding away at his keyboard writing a love letter to his father. His father would pound away at the keys of the IBM Selectric and he too, would beat out the time to the music that was his fuel.

My son is pounding the keys on his laptop. His soundtrack is the giggling and hooting that comes with a teen with a gift for writing, working to sum up 9 years of his life. He is working to create a Beat inspired speech infused with scientific, Latin, and Greek references:

“I am sure base. I found the world, my friend, the first atom atoms delayed.

Years of ups and downs in the dark underground attention.”

“I climbed the stairs. I feel like a power Up the Stairs at the expense of the strength; my heart is broken…”

My sons words on the page….

Every now and again, my son puts his speech through a foreign language translator;

it sounds best in Algerian.

I can hear my sons speech through the foreign language translator and I can hear my husbands footsteps on the stairs.  Those footsteps signal that the rhythm of his love letter will soon ring out in the Man Cave as I read aloud in measured beats the words of love and anger that a son feels for a father; as I read aloud the forgiveness and acceptance a son can find among the ruins.

I am thinking, “You can’t go home again,”

and I am wondering what that means for me.

I am listening to the sounds of the words running wild in these four walls: a Home.

The sound of the words, the pounding of the keys and a Home.

I am Home. I do not need to return.

Peace,   really.


~ by Step On a Crack on May 18, 2012.

26 Responses to “I Am Listening To The Sounds of Words Running Wild in These Four Walls”

  1. Oh Jen … i can feel how you feel. Proud and grounded. Safe in the house of Family: A family of people who speak to your heart. W is more brilliant than i originally imagined. He is off the chart gifted and i know why, and i am lucky to know why. I know his amazing mother, who listens, observes, and writes in silence … keeping silent vigil over her loved ones. I feel comfort, silently sitting beside you, listening to your husband and amazingly gifted son, pounding out words of beauty, heart and soul.

    I hope you can come home to me … i hope you find me a safe haven for what speaks to your heart. You are my Tribe.

    Much love, my sista. Mel

    This is BEAUTIFUL. I’m so happy YOU are …


  2. Mel, YOU are Home in SO many ways. I have been thinking about “You can’t go home again” for a long long time. It is such a complicated issue for me: no real home to go to. No Home for longer than 5 years until now. (except for my husbands ‘family farm’. THAT is Home for sure)

    My visit with you gave me a deeper understanding of HOME. You and P and C and my own four walls. YOU are Home for me. I AM coming Home.

    You are far more than a safe haven. You are Tribe and Warrior Woman and the Past and the Present all rolled up in one. You are Home my Dear Friend Mel.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE to you Jen


  3. There is so much beauty here. Not just your words, Jen, that always radiate, but you really struck my heart with your last line about not having to return home because you are home. You know that theme of going home and where is home has been an issue for me not having that whole home town thing. You’ve made me realize it’s just as you said, I am home. I feel so blessed to follow your progression of beauty through your blog.


    • Debby I think of YOU when I am pondering (always with this darn Pondering!) the idea of ‘Home’. The lack of a physical representation of HOME throws us. I know I am still thrown by the lack AND I also know that inside I can connect with my Home in my Heart. Now, If I can just keep my Pondering Paws off this for awhile…

      That is always the tricky part.
      I hope all is well in your neck of Home!

      XOXO Jen


  4. yes Home is not a place that was or will be Love to you & the Boyz x


  5. home and peace, two wonderful gifts 🙂


  6. I am thinking, “what BEAUTIFUL WORDS, and even greater the way of expressing the four walls we call home and what happens inside… creates a picture of my home, not in writing perhaps, much of the “noise”, and the silence in me…
    I really like your poem!


  7. Glad to hear you’re in a happy place Jen. Enjoy.


    • Thank you for being here. This Happy Place is a great one! I just returned from visiting family: that made a world of difference. Maybe that is the key: Home=Family

      XO Jen


  8. This is exquisitely beautiful and touches me deeply (and with a sliver of envy, I confess). A home full of writing–and love, sounds like heaven on earth, surely. I think it’s wonderful that you captured these sacred moments/hours like a written snapshot–it is truly a keepsake, you know, which you may press to your longing heart one day. God bless you and your family abundantly, Jen–much love, sis Caddo


    • Caddo, I feel very lucky indeed. That is where this post grew. I had also just spent time with my family and Mel in Iowa and was riding the crest of a wave of love and connection. It is odd: the family in Iowa are not blood relations. They are no less family. Phil is my brother in Love and there it is. His kids are my niece and nephew and his wife Carrie is my sister in law. No blood only love. I think we choose our Real Family. I assume that you know what I am talking about. My blood family is a mixed bag, not all sunshine and light; the Sister I am very close to is far far away in England.

      So I choose my family. I feel lucky. I hope this feeling stays awhile. I might just need to make more road trips : )

      Bless you my Friend! Love, Jen


  9. ‘I am Home. I do not need to return’. Great ending.


  10. Jen!
    You’re back! I didn’t know.
    I’m rarely on the computer these days but so glad I checked in tonight.
    When I was little, it was my favorite thing to draw pictures of. They all looked the same (I’m no Mel)
    A square house with a triangle roof, a rectangle door, little square windows. Every shape was familiar and predictable and easy to draw.
    Home became a lot harder to put on paper later – too many angles that I didn’t understand.
    You’ve put it on paper beautifully.
    I’ve been thinking about you a lot.
    I’m glad you’ve found your way home.


    • Dear Debbie!

      I am riding High after my visit with Phil and Carrie and the kids and My Dear Mel! Being back in my house carries with it the memories of connection and love. My family in Iowa is not Blood Family but Love family. No less Family though; maybe stronger.

      I love the image floating in my head of you as a little girl drawing Home. I picture little curtains in the windows….

      “Too many angles…” beautifully put and a Poem Bone if I ever read one.

      I am trying to hold to the feeling of connection; it is waning. I think I might just need more road trips!

      I think of you daily and I always smile!

      Love, Jen


  11. I am home again. I do not need to return.

    I am doing a happy dance to hear from you and then to make the lights shine today, you are writing such peaceful, poetic words about the space you share with your family… I’m happy! Whatever you want to share is always a welcome read, but getting to hear the peace in your post is such a good thing to experience today.

    Thank you for posting.


    • Heidi,

      It was a wonderful week and being with my Love Family in Iowa and spending time with My Dear Mel set the tone for the week. I started with a sense of connection and love. I love these people fiercely. Being loved by them is a blessing. I really felt love and loved. wow!

      I am holding fast to this feeling and I fear it waning. I will have my memories and my old Jeep can just make that trip again

      and again and again…

      Thank you for being here. I think of you EVERY day and it makes me happy.

      XO Jen


  12. Jen, You are surrounded by love. What better can you ask? To have home with so much talent, heart and love. Congratulations to your son on his graduation and to your husband on his nearly completed book, and finally to you … who knows how to love, listen, and learn with a lifetime of difficult experiences that have made you grow to areas you never thought possible. Take care and stay safe for you and your loving family. Edie


    • Dear Edie!

      Oh my you are going to make me cry! thank you for such thoughtful and kind words.

      It is only someone who knows what it is to survive who would understand what it means to thrive.

      XO Jen


  13. Jen.
    This is one of the most satisfying pieces of writing I have ever read.


  14. […] Gratitude. […]


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