People, more than other animals, need to ‘come home’.
Animals in the wild find their home in many places.
Domesticated, tamed by humans, animals such as dogs, cows, horses swiftly accept where they are at home. In humans, homecoming is much more complex and more sensitive.
Coming home is very complex concept. It is linked for example with ‘social & societal’ security in nation-states.
The ways we talk, in The Netherlands and Europe 2015, about ‘security’ are numerous and very divers.
The concepts of safety and security are used in public and private situations but we do not seem to care what we mean with in which context. It resembles a lot the need and experience of ‘feeling at home & coming home’ but it isn’t the same.
An anthropological (cultural comparative) Gaze at ‘coming home’ resembles feeling safe/comfortable/well/fine which can be accomplished in many ways.
When/where do we, individually, feel at home, pleasant, safe?
I discovered early in my adolescence that I felt much at home on the edge of forest and meadow and sometimes deeply safe and ‘at home’ in a ‘human-free forest’ at night. And less among humans.
I saw my brothers, sister and friends they were at ease and at home in urban contexts but very unsafe in a forest alone at night.
During individually reading a book, listening to music, gaming and watching movies you can feel deeply at home. Farm people feel at home with their cows or horses might be very at home and comfortable.
I saw my father, a blacksmith, ‘coming home’ in crafting useful metal artefacts and later on in my life I experienced this myself often.
In my Master thesis (Bekkum 1988) and in several papers and a booklet (1993; 1994; 2006). I conceptualized this pleasant ‘home coming experience’ as emerging from a universal human ‘Arts & Crafts Impulse’ (2015).
Individually we humans can experience coming home in numerous ways. What all these situations have in common is they are temporal. I’ve rarely meet people who could stay in such a state a whole day.
For collective forms of homecoming see next menu button.
Until recently many Christian Europeans came home individually deeply in prayers. And they still do in lesser numbers. Next to this homecoming an ever increasing number of Westerners seek coming home in all sorts of Asian meditation techniques rooted in Buddhism, Zen, Advaita, QiGong, Tai Chi, Mindfulness etc… Being in prayer and in meditation, I know from personal experience, one can feel deeply safe, can come, and feel at, home. You can feel embedded and contained in a larger rationally elusive whole.
A possible differentiation of coming home/feeling safe, 1) material, in my room, in our home, and 2) relational; in my peer, family and community networks, 3) spiritual in prayers and in rituals.
Is it possible to exprience all at the same time? I believe it is can be done.
For one of my symbolic art manifestations of ‘coming home’ see: Squinted Hawk Lost Powers Returning 1996
For another of my symbolic art manifestations of ‘coming home’ see: Squinted Hawk AISA & KAKU.1995.ENG
For a more academic-anthropological conceptualization of ‘coming home’ see: Van Bekkum TO BELONG AND TO BE DIFFERENT Balancing Ethnic and National Loyalties in Male Adolescents.pdf 1999