Have you ever left home? Maybe you’ve never left the place you grew up in, or went to college in, or got a job in. Maybe you’ve never had a place you called home, a place you could come back to.
The concept of home is very important to a lot of artists. Everyone wants to feel accepted, to know what they’re doing is okay, to “fit in”. Van Gogh lived in over 30 places even though he died at 37. He was never able to find somewhere he belonged.
I’m based out of Chicago, and spent the last few weeks out of the state working on a film. While Chicago is fraught with problems, on the national and personal scale, I’m still terribly fond of the city. It’s the best home I’ve had, and I love being able to return here.
Have you ever returned home?
When the film wrapped, we made a flash decision to leave in the middle of the night and drive the 5 hours back to the city. We wanted to be home.
I’ll never forget driving up the highway, dark for stretches of time, listening to the hum of the diesel as we churned through the road. There’s something magical about night driving, captured better by Kentucky Route Zero than I ever could articulate.
It was pure joy to drive over the expressway, through Gary IN, and see the glow of Chicago grasping out into the sky. The lights foretold the coming city, and stood as a beacon. They called to us, welcoming us into the gates of the Chicago Skyway, whose bright red sign and gleaming bridge promised safe travels.
The lights welled up inside of me something I had struggled to quantify while I was away, a growing unease of the state of affairs. It was only a matter of time before I would return to the city, and now we were here.
We knew we had made it.