Book Notes - You Can't Go Home Again

The essence of Time is Flow, not Fix. The essence of faith is the knowing that all flows and that everything must change. ~ Thomas Wolfe  

Sooner or later we’re all strangers in town, even if we never leave. Friendships, jobs, businesses morph. Life happens and we evolve. There are no human museums.  

This obsession so preoccupied Wolfe that his final novel, published in 1940, ran over 650 pages as his semi-autobiographical protagonist is ostracized for literary success at the expense of his personal acquaintances and discovers the futility of fleeing to find a new home. It’s a long read in hours but a short leap to universal truth. Even I, the slowest reader I know, never lost the thread of interest over the months I took to digest it, but I’m glad I went with hard copy instead of Audible. Some stories, like life itself, need to be experienced over the long haul.

 Home, the crux of my own writings, is less the state of Maine or New Hampshire than a state of mind. Entire blocks of the little town where I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s are now unrecognizable, but I catch snatches of home in the smell of the sea, the cry of a seagulls piercing September’s rain, and the sight of aged asphalt shingles in a newly gentrified slum.