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In my last letter I included this quote, from G. Severino: “I am my own querencia. I am my own home. I am my own sounding board. I am my own soulmate. And what a beautiful feeling to carry with me . . . ”

I only looked up the meaning of the word “querencia” after sending the letter out, simply because I loved all the rest of the quote. But now that I’ve found the definition, I love the word itself, very much.

Wikipedia calls the word “a Spanish metaphysical concept. 1. Emotional inclination toward someone or something. 2. Tendency in people and animals to return to the place where they grew up. . . It has also been defined as ‘homing instinct, a favorite place.'”

This is available as a card or a print.

It is a layered word packed with meaning. Other interpretations include: to want, like, love; fondness; favorite haunt of an animal (the place where a bull goes in a bullfight, for safety); the place where one feels most secure, where you find your strength of character and feel at home; the place where you are your most authentic self.

I love all of this, as well as its use in Severino’s quote from On the Verge, a journal-style novella. He is his own soulmate, his own favorite place, his own strength, carried with him wherever he goes. True inner strength!

I found his words when I searched last week for a quote about journaling, more specifically that beautiful Morning Pages ritual that I keep, that has sustained me for the past 26 years and that continues to surprise and support me. That is my querencia, my strength, my favorite place/time/haunt, the place where I feel my most authentic self. That is where I gather myself together, with words, pen to paper, my two dogs close by. My haven, my sanctuary. My querencia.

Do I carry it with me? Not sure. Probably not. But I’d like to. Things certainly do jostle one throughout a day–the news, petty disagreements and slights that should be easily shaken off, misspoken words that one regrets, discourteous or unkind encounters, a sick dog or friend, even tech irritations and drama on the pickleball court. All these things lure us away from our center. Life, in other words. Life happens. But in the morning at least I have my querencia before I venture forth.

What is it that makes you feel your strongest and most authentic self? Go and do it right now. Do it as much as you can.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” – Maya Angelou

“I’m safe inside this container called me.” ― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

“Perhaps home is not a place but simply an irrevocable condition.” ― James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room

If you’re looking for my cards or art, you’ll find all of that on my website. If you enjoy these letters, feel free to forward this one to anyone you think might like it. And if someone forwarded this one to you, you can sign up here to receive the letters right in your Inbox. Finally, you’ll find past letters and poems here.

Thanks for listening,

P.S. MerryThoughts is the name of my first book, out of print at the moment. The word is a British one, referring both to a wishbone and to the ritual of breaking the wishbone with the intention of either having a wish granted or being the one who marries first, thus the “merry thoughts.”

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