to the place i belong

I got to Dublin on Friday. I had heard a rumor about the potatoes, but you generally don’t expect rumors to be so true. I love to travel and see new things and try new foods, especially if they’re potatoes and/or gravy — preferably both. If not for the whole deal where you generally have to speed through the sky with no visible means of support in order to get to most places, travel would have practically no entries in the cons column.

I do like being home too. I love having a quiet place that’s mine, where I can find peace and refuge and storm-induced shelter and all of that. Sometimes my heart just craves it. It’s more a feeling than a place. Of rightness. Of knowing this is where I belong.

Yes, my idealized world is a Billy Joel song — “home is just another word for you” and all that. And sure, Billy sort of phoned it in there towards the end with the “instant pleasure dome” stuff, but, you know, I never did have a place that I could call my very own. He’s right about that.

Oh, like you don’t hear a song and realize your exact feeling has been put into rhyme and is neatly summarized to pop music. It happens to all of us, so don’t pretend you’re above it.

Billy Joel is often the soundtrack for my life. Vienna has been the resounding chorus for years.

But back to potatoes. In Ireland, I finally know that I am not alone in this world. There are others just like me, who feel that a meal just isn’t complete without potatoes. And maybe a meal needs two or three different kinds.

I was walking down the street the other night and heard singing from a bar. John Denver. “Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong…” I am often mocked for my John Denver love, but some things you just keep from your childhood. And some of my earliest memories are from when we were living at my grandparents’ house, listening to John Denver and the Carpenters on eight track with my mom.

The point (obviously) is that I’ve decided to stay in Ireland a few more days. Maybe I won’t find the truths of life as only Billy Joel can write, but at least I can have a few more potatoes. And sing the songs of my lost childhood, mocking-free.

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