Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Awhile back, Dad and I went to hear a panel discussion/reading by authors from the anthology And Here: 100 Years of Upper Peninsula Writing, 1917-2017. It was a good time, and if any of the authors happen to come through your town, I recommend hearing what they have to say if you are at all interested in the UP or Michigan writing in general.

During the event, one of the authors mentioned that he is always eager to get back to Detroit; he appears to have arrived at a point in his life where he wants to be back in HIS PLACE, which I absolutely understand. Later that night, Dad asked me about this, and I realized something I've never really considered before: homebodiness can take two distinct forms.

The first, of course, is homebodiness of the house, or what we think of as the classic homebody--in other words, someone who enjoys being in their home, would rather stay in than go out, and enjoys solitude. I am this type of homebody at least 80 percent of the time.

The other variety is homebodiness of place--in other words, someone who wants to spend their time in their neighborhood or city (or, I suppose, even specific other places, like a theater or library). The author mentioned above is of the second type.

When I consider it, I'm surprised by the number of people I know who could be categorized as homebodies. But the more I think, the more I realize it's probably a lasting effect of our tribal past: staying in the same location because we know it's familiar and safe.

This isn't a criticism at all; I think it's very beneficial to have a connection to your surroundings, as you can be an effective guide to visitors or transplants, are more likely to keep your dollars in your area and thereby support its economic development, and build a stronger personal community for yourself.

So yes: I am all for homebodiness of place!


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