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Coming Out. Coming Home.

06/04/2010

The 1957 Pulitzer Prize for fiction was won, posthumously, by a writer from Knoxville, TN named James Agee. The book was A Death in the Family. A few years later, it was adapted into a successful Broadway play entitled All the Way Home. I have always liked the title of the play better – warmer, more poignant and more to the point of the story.

Set in Knoxville in 1915, the book and play tell the autobiographical story of a six-year-old boy whose father dies unexpectedly, and the effects this event has on his survivors – the kid, Rufus, in particular.

In the story, Rufus’s father has had to drive to another town to check on his own father who is ill. Driving back home to Knoxville late at night, he is killed in an accident. The story is quite moving as it deals with Rufus and his growing awareness that his father will never come home again.

I see a little of myself, and all of us who come out later in life, in the boy Rufus, waiting for his father to come home. As I see it, I was waiting for my own inner adult – my “father” if you will – to come home and help me grow up. In my case it was a long, long wait – 40 years. But the good news is that my inner adult did come home. And I came home. To myself.

Those of us who have come out at last usually feel a great sense of relief. We can also feel empathy and solidarity with those like Rufus, whose father hasn’t come yet, whose father may never arrive. But we can be glad we are, ourselves, finally at home.

Those of you who may still be on the path outward, or just thinking about starting, please know that the journey is worth it despite the pain you will almost certainly encounter. Also know that those of us who have made the trip are eager to give you encouragement and to welcome you as you come home. All the way home.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. 06/04/2010 10:46 PM

    A moving, touching introduction to what is going to be a kick-ass blog. Can’t wait to read more.

    • Dodge Rea permalink
      06/06/2010 10:22 PM

      Hear hear! Where courage and honesty meet gifts for words and connection, worlds change. May they be many.

      Every blessing to you, David, to your deeply-needed blog, and to the brave souls who share your urge to bloom! It’s been long enough.

      – Dodge

      • 06/06/2010 10:25 PM

        Thanks!

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