Simply put, one needs to leave in order to arrive anywhere. And leave where? Where one is comfortable: the shock of the new is always the other thing that is invariably compared to home (when I think of something, I always think of something else), which is why tourism is so apparently seductive, because what one experiences is home, again and again. Leaving simply brings into relief the contours of home: the expensive holiday that reveals the rich businessman at his house (one is never more at work than when one is spending); the photographs, already taken in order to recycle the world in front of the fire, used to stand testimony to a world outside of home.

When one constantly leaves, one constantly arrives – countries, and the homes they might offer, becomes functionally equivalent. Rather than there being a break in rhythms (now I live in a different country) there is a reproduction of the same pressing questions - how can I survive here? For how long? Within this feeling, the human animal contracts - the evident nature of its precarious existence does not fill it with joy (precariousness can, however, be very joyful), instead, the animal does the minimum required to live, unwilling to move more, certain in the redundancy of every gesture.


Home is information. Everything we see is encoded. It has its place, and carries with it temporal and spatial markers that allow us to find our place within it. When we step outside, we then have the basis on which to decode noise – everything else – because we have a sense of home against which to measure it. In fact, we must always leave home, for without that noise, our home is not thrown into new relief, and becomes stale. The person who never leaves home finishes by living in noise, the noise of the common place with which we do not identify. One can be homeless at home (plight of the alienated office worker).

So we must step out. Into noise, and confusion. But for this process of renewing the home -- adding to it, subtracting to it -- not to culminate in everything being noise, one must always retreat. I go into the world to find myself. In the process I lose myself. Then I return, and find the border between the world, and myself again. In homelessness, everything is noise; there is no proper place from which to understand information. Instead, there is the constant swirling of questions and queries that we cannot handle, objects that do not take on proper dimensions, or dimensions that we do not understand, monstrous dimensions. What we know is simply: I do not find myself here (plight of the refugee in a strange city).


When we travel we feel light. Outside of our familiar structures, we feel we are divested of the heaviness of obligation and understanding, even if, actually, we never escape these structures. Regardless, we feel ourselves light. We undertake actions that normally would seem wild - we cannot walk all day when we are thinking of our jobs. Heaviness is for home, lightness for the beach.

In homelessness this condition is reversed. In a strange place, we feel every gesture has a peculiarly existential heaviness (premonition of its own precarity): every gesture, in this realm of noise, confronts you not with the world, but with yourself, with the loss of self you feel amongst this noise, in this strange place of stasis where nothing is moving, apart from everything. We dream of home, where every decision does not risk death, but comes instead with the simple contentment that emerges when things have their place. Lightness is a bed in the house of our parents.