Thoughts on Places Called Home
Some friends of mine are in Atlanta today. I sent one of them with his insanely adorable dog to Piedmont Park, where I used to take my sweet girl, Snoopy. Whenever I have friends pass through my first place called home on this insane journey we’re fortunate enough to walk, I get a little homesick. See, Los Angeles is certainly a home to me, but Atlanta is where my soul lives. I see the world differently being from the South, I know it, I don’t know how I know it, but I do. I see the way I grew up, and it varies from that of the way my LA native friends did. I miss the trees, the people, the culture, the history. I miss that feeling on a humid Southern summer night. Movies in the park with friends as the air envelops us and takes us back to childhood. I miss my dog.
I returned from my holiday trip to Atlanta on January 9 of this year. Shortly after that Snoopy told us it was time. I wasn’t there, and I haven’t been since this happened. Now I’m almost afraid to go home. It’s as though I have a fear that it won’t fill that void that lives within me the way it always has.
Though maybe there’s something to the mystic energy that lives there, maybe that’s where I’ll truly feel that she’ll never leave me. I feel that from the people I’ve lost from that part of my life, their spirits live on in a way of life that has endured for centuries. I’m not talking about the bloody past that stains the Georgia clay, I’m talking about the understanding of family and friends. That those bonds run deeper than any other, that we take care of each other, that we show up for each other. That we laugh together and we grieve together. That there is no joy or pain without food filled with emotion in conjunction with it. That we are Southern.
Atlanta is changing, and yet, no matter how the metropolis grows, it’s still that beautiful soul filling Southern city that I call home. I always eat at the same places, Manuel’s for the wings and friends, Fellini’s for the pizza and friends, Woody’s for the cheesesteaks and memories of father/daughter dates when I was a little girl, and Mellow Mushroom for the dogs (they loved the pizza crust). I go to the same bars, Peachtree Tavern, Star Bar, Tin Roof Cantina, all owned by dear friends of mine. I find myself in a comfortable rut there.
It’s almost as though time stands still at home. I used to think that was just because I didn’t live there anymore - but I experimented with that for much of 2011. I moved back to Atlanta in December 2010, for just shy of a year. Granted, I spent much of that year on tour or in Los Angeles for work, but for a few sweet moments it was still that place, frozen in time, where the air wraps around me and carries my soul to a place that only the South can take me - and for that time - I’m whole and I am home.
**This photo set is a collection of random images from trips home over the last two years.