To me this painting by Edward Hopper is home. During the silent years of my burnout, this was the postcard that hung next to my dinner table and made me long for something that felt like ‘home’. I did not know what home was, only that I was afraid and lost. Somewhere I lost my home, my soul-home, and I urgently needed to find my way back to it again, it had been too long.
This little house, in the woods, in the silence, in the emptiness symbolized this mysterious home.
Now, over a decade later, this postcard is hanging in my bedroom and my eye still catches it. I remember how lost I felt, how far away from home I had wandered, trying to be all things to all people, forgotten where I belonged. And now I found home in myself, and know where to go when thing get though, or when I simply need to rest.
This week – on my father’s birthday – I finished my book about this dark episode in my life. And it was only after wrapping the manuscript up, I realized that it was about home coming. I knew burnout is more, much more than the name implies. Now I know it is the soul calling us to come home. Sometimes from far over seas, over hills and planes, but if we are still human enough to hear it, we respond by realizing we are too tired, too overworked, too stressed, too depressed, too whatever to go on like we did. We need to stop everything and return home. It has been too long.
In the coming weeks my manuscript will be sold to a publisher by my agent and my story will become a story of its own. And as I hope, a signpost for people looking for their home.
Solitudine by Edward Hopper (1944)