Roxanne Tellier: Humans, Hearts and Homes


The concept of ‘home’ is a funny thing. As kids, we only know what a home should feel like by the one we live in. All our stuff is there. We have a bed, and people feed us. We visit other kids’ homes, and discover that there are other ways to live, other foods to eat, but when we’re tired or sick or just generally feeling lost in a great big world, we only know one thing – we wanna go home.


Kids don’t need much. They may see something on TV and want it desperately, but within a few hours, or a few days, that fancy passes and another whim takes it’s place. All kids really need is a roof over their heads, something to eat – and someone who loves and worries about them. Somewhere they feel safe.

Our House – Madness

And then puberty hits. Your parents love is secondary as your sex drive kicks in. The genetic imperative, the need to start your own family, over rides all. Funny thing though; for all your need to escape one situation, which has grown to feel claustrophobic and stifling, you’re actually about to re-create that same situation. It’ll just be with different actors in the lead roles.

parents don't understandBeing the narcissistic little twits we are, we’re convinced that no one else before, in all of written history, has ever felt the way we do about our special someone. Nothing can keep us apart, we declare, we are in love! and we rage against those who “just don’t understand.”

There’s a reason why this song hits big every time it’s released … it speaks to the madness in teenagers when the need to be alone with the object of their desire overrules all sense and sensibility. The heartbeat sound of the drum echoes their own heart’s pounding.

I Think We’re Alone Now –  Tommy James & The Shondells 

Parents know exactly why teens want to be alone together; they felt those same urges at one time. It’s traumatic on both sides. “She’s Leaving Home” was based on a newspaper story Paul McCartney read about a runaway girl. He would have been about 25, and was still a single man.It’s extraordinary that he could have found the perception and necessary distance at to understand that dilemma from both sides of the coin; the child’s need for freedom, the parents’ need to keep their baby safe. ‘She’s leaving home after living alone for so many years.’

She’s Leaving Home – The Beatles 

No matter how gently or dramatically we leave the nest, our next dilemma comes when we try to find someone suitable and comfortable toshare a new nest nobody careswith. Even as we’re taking baby steps into the world, we’re learning what works and what doesn’t when two independent souls try to cohabit. Still steeped in the hormonal stew that makes young adults lives as drama ridden  as a reality show, we learn that our egos have to be tempered; two divas, both positive that they are the star of the house, will tear the roof off the joint and leave the foundations crumbling.

Can’t find my way home – Stevie Winwood

We stumble forward, unsure of our emotions, but stuck in a dance where everyone seems to need a partner in order to be at the ball.

“I got a man to stick it out, and make a home from a rented house. And we’ll collect the moments one by one. I guess that’s how the future’s done.”

Mushaboom – Feist  

snailhomeWe’re like snails, carrying our own houses like invisible shells on our backs, but we yearn for home. Not just a place where we keep our stuff, but a state of mind, of togetherness, of family. All roads lead to home, wherever you are,when you’ve found someone who shares your needs and desires.

Home – Edward Sharpe &The Magnetic Zeros

Sometimes we’ll find ourselves stuck in places we don’t want to be. Maybe that’s where you thought you’d be happy. Maybe you followed someone who was on a path to a different definition of home. All you know is that you might be there for a while. All you know is that it seemed like a good idea at the time, and now you forget how to move on.

Pink Houses – John Cougar Mellencamp

Not all houses are built on solid foundations.People being people, they make mistakes. Sometimes they listen to the little devil on their shoulder that tells them that this is not the home they thought they wanted. Maybe they’re bored, feeling like they’ve fallen into a rut. People, being human and prone to selfishness, can turn a home into nothing but a shell by their actions and unkindness. An empty house.

A House Is Not A Home – Dionne Warwick

“I have all of life’s treasures, and they are fine and they are good.
They remind me that houses are just made of wood.
What makes a house grand ain’t the roof or the doors
If there’s love in a house it’s a palace for sure
Without love…It ain’t nothin’ but a house.A house where nobody lives”

House where nobody lives – Tom Waits

The human heart. It yearns for love, a safe place to call ‘home.’ When thwarted, it diverts the need for companionship to other pursuits. Some cherish pets, others collect books or music or dolls or needlework. Some desperately search for love. Some wait for love to come to them.

“There’s more than one way home. Ain’t no right way, ain’t no wrong
And whatever road you might be on, you find your own way ’cause there’s more than one way home”

More Than One Way Home- Keb’ Mo’  

As long as we live, we search for home. Even if home is a cardboard box in an alley, it’s ours, and it shelters all that we hold dear. A house is a public face. A home is where we can be ourselves, warts and all. It’s where the mess is all yours. It’s where you can dance in your underwear, scratch your private parts, and put your feet on the table.

Home is where you make memories with loved ones. Home is where the memories stay behind.

old man

“I will try to connectall the pieces you’ve left. I will carry it onand let you forget.
I’ll remember the yearswhen your mind was still clear,
All the flickering lightsthat filled up this silent house.
Everything that you made by hand, everything that you know by heart
All the names that you can’t recall.”

Silent House – Crowded House 

No matter where we call home, no matter what state of repair or disrepair it’s in, home is where you go when there’s nowhere else you’d rather be. Home is where we begin, what we yearn for all of our lives, and what we never want to leave behind.

Homeward Bound – Simon &Garfunkel 


Roxanne’s column appears here every Sunday 

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DBAWIS ButtonRoxanne Tellier has been singing since she was 10 months old … no, really. Not like she’s telling anyone else how to live their lives, because she’s not judgmental, and most 10 month olds need a little more time to figure out how to hold a microphone. She has also been a vocalist with many acts, including Tangents, Lady, Performer, Mambo Jimi, and Delta Tango. In 2013 she co-hosted Bob Segarini’s podcast, The Bobcast, and, along with Bobert, will continue to seek out and destroy the people who cancelled ‘Bunheads’. 

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