The Surreality of Home


I went home today. I don’t know what I can tell you about the surreality of it. Some things were so familiar. Some were much smaller. Some were a sucker punch. Some I’d like to bottle. Some were gone.

A thing I’d planned to do but didn’t was to walk the back yard and stare down the interstate, to stand listening to the cars thump, thump, thump on by. But the interstate is now a faceless chorus girded by trees and shrubs. It is blind and muted.

Not wanting to be intrusive, I have no photos. Things that struck me down are hard and mundane–curved pipes into a washtub, a metal smoke detector, the dog house beyond the patio doors. It’s been there forever, they say. I got that dog for my 5th birthday, I don’t.

I’ve started an Undraft of the memoir, more notes and sorted fragments, notions I brought home I hadn’t known to put into words.

There are no excuses left. There is only freedom in writing.


About E. Victoria Flynn

E. Victoria Flynn is a mother and a writer living in Southern Wisconsin. Published in a variety of venues, Victoria is currently writing the first in a series of three fantasy novels based on Cornish folklore. When not taking part in a shrieking dance party or engrossed in her own little fictions, Victoria is keen on art, the natural world and people unafraid to explore their own brilliance.
This entry was posted in memoir writing, penny jar, places, red house, Weird and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Surreality of Home

  1. Jillian says:

    I am so glad you got to go back and I can’t wait to read more. It’s so strange that the things that stay the same make us hurt and marvel as much as what’s changed.

  2. pennyjars says:

    It’s such an odd mix, the excitement over finding the desk my father paid bills in, and the frustration over loosing a window in my bedroom.

  3. What a journey you’ve taken today. Thanks for sharing it with us, and I hope it enriches your memoir to have this experience behind you.

  4. Lisa says:

    What a wonderful post to read first thing this morning, Victoria! I can hear the serenity in your words. “Undraft.” Nice. 🙂 Nothing can stop you now.

  5. Karen Sosnoski says:

    Exciting…I have to admit I’m arriving at your blog late in the ongoing narrative, so I’m not sure I have the back story about your house and its meaning to you right, however what you’ve written above reads like a great opening to your memoir. Looking forward to reading more…

    • pennyjars says:

      Karen, I’m so glad to have you here, regardless of timing. To me, the house is a character in the story, just now I realize, perhaps another kind of mother. Thank you so much for being a part of this.

  6. Beth Hoffman says:

    You are on your way toward yourself … I see you walking calmly.

    Giant hugs to you, Victoria!

  7. pennyjars says:

    Beth, it feels so good. *Hugs*

  8. Reading this, I feel a gumball-size hard place in my belly. I went back to a childhood home a couple of years ago. The place where my dad died so unexpectedly, so young; he 51, me 13. The house where my mother’s mental disintegration began. I covered the memories back up in gauze for just a while longer. I know that was an essential journey for you, as it was for me. I post pretty pictures while I am growing some courage.

    • pennyjars says:

      Beth, I commend you for taking that trip back to your home. Take your time with your courage, but I do hope it grows strong and tall. I would love to read your story.

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