You Can Go Home Again

Aug 19, 2011 | City Life | 1 comment

And I did yesterday, “home” being a two-story brick dwelling on the edge of fashionable Oak Park (Chicago), which my family moved from in 1959.
The current owners, Mr. & Mrs. Comancho, answered my door knock, and, remarkably, let us strangers into their home. They are an elderly Mexican couple, Chicagoans since the 1920’s. When I was growing up in this neighborhood, it was multicultural, but upwardly mobile, populated by lawyers and doctors, like my dad.
It’s a true experience, that one’s childhood home looks small compared to the memories we hold. I remember my formative years as often being terrifying and my parents as dysfunctional. But perhaps those memories are somewhat distorted, as was my impression of living in a house of mansion-like proportions.
In yoga there’s the notion of avidya that I like to remind myself of. It’s the phenomenon
of seeing an object, person, or event and superimposing our own perceptions on them – instead of seeing them clearly as they really are.
Looking into the backyard of my old house, I could see the now-absent crab apple tree of my childhood, and even – on a perfect summer’s day – the fortresses we built out snow and ice in the dead of winter.
Best to learn the lessons of the past, and forgive it whenever possible, so as to be able to show up in the present with clear vision and frequent reality checks.

1 Comment

  1. The present owners of the house are Alfredo and Maria Camacho.


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