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Sunday Times Books LIVE

Anne Townsend

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Home weighs more

Home smells good.

Home is where you feel aligned.

Home is where you drag yourself out to walk up and down the streets to gape at the scenery, the gardens, the crooked and majestic houses and where people wave.

Home has been, since 2017, a series of rural villages and the most recent is a Free State town that used to be a mission station.

Home, when you follow your heart, your gut, your intuition (Google can explain about all the nerve endings and muscles involved in following that Holy Trinity) will become so spectacular and miraculous you will have to tone things down.

In the Northern Cape I resided in a historical building that used to be a butcher.

My new (very old) Free State home used to be a church. So I was told over the weekend.

When I set out to explore the meat industry and religion, I didn’t expect it to take me to a butcher and a church.

But so it did.

Here I am.

In a Free State house that used to be a church.

Home is elusive, home is slippery, home cannot always be quantified.

Home feels tender, soft, heart-based and muscular. It weighs more.

Home used to be a series of exotic countries and late night emails to the group of people I used to call *friends.*

Recently home has become a series of contortions, refurbishments, relocations and long periods of loneliness. Home has become quite literally whatever I feel fully.

Feelings take you to the heart of the house. There is no substitute for feeling.

If you’re still hoping to feel your way out of existence, if you’re still drinking your way home, if you’re still lying your way home, if you’re still flying or shopping or purchasing or bullshitting your way home, I have a very easy remedy.





Home follows.

For now, as a recent Free Stater, I know how home feels. It weighs more.


images by anne townsend


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