home and the nostos

An Essay By Ben // 12/21/2001

Dear Homeschooling Friends,

I like apricot. I think I really like apricot a lot.

Yesterday I drove home from college. My car was packed full of most of my worldly possessions since I had to empty out my dorm room. I had the laptop, my ever-growing library of books and Cds, my violin, all my clothing pretty much, and Christmas gifts for my family. I felt like part of a song as I drove the rainy miles toward home, music playing and windshield wipers keeping rhythm. I left school on good terms with many people - there are good things waiting for me back at school. I also left school feeling more confident about what I should be doing. It's right for me to devote myself to books and contemplation now... that’s what I need. It's funny I should have this sense now because this semester was perhaps my laziest semester in college.

So, now I'm home. But not for very long - I leave for Rome on January 26, 2002. And, I will not return home until about six months from that day. It seems obvious to me that these years and this time in Europe will stay with me all my life. Those six months especially may - I hope - grace me with more clarity. I also know I need some clarity before I go on that journey so that I don't miss the important things. I want to have a lot of fun over in Rome and Europe, but it's more important to me that I experience life wherever I am in a full way. I hope this goal isn't too sentimental or vague. I'm glad that one of the classes we take in Rome requires that we keep a daily journal. I should probably keep a diary, as well. And, I intend to sketch and take artistic photographs as much as possible. The beauty of Rome will inspire me, I'm sure. And, of course I will bring my violin to play in the streets with a guitarist friend.

Other than these, my ideas of what Europe will be like, I have no idea what those months will bring. I know I will miss my family. Still, we can keep in touch via email and telephone. And, everything the word "home" means for me will remain constant, no matter where I go or for how long. If I can keep home on the tip of my tongue and in the reflection of my eyes my traveling will always be what the ancient Greeks called the nostos - a home-coming, or odyssey toward home.

And that's partly why I feel so positive about apricot. apricot has become a small reflection of home for me. I'm glad I followed my silly whim almost two years ago to make a Web site for homeschoolers. All the work putting it together and developing its personality has paid off - it has helped me on my nostos and maybe it has helped you, my reader, on yours.

Enjoy apricotpie.com,

Ben

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