February 9, 1997: Lee Chen (Honolulu, Hawai'i) gave us an essay she wrote about her homes in China and Chicago. The piece was later included in a performance piece called "Di Tou



I always feel homeless. And I never know where I am going to end up. I want to have a home, a physical home, I mean a house or a condo something, I had a condo one time with my ex-husband, although we didn't have an intimate relationship, I mean, we never cuddled and we never talked sweet to each other, yet we respected each other and we cared about each other, but I can't consider it was a marriage.


However the place we had made me feel I belonged to somewhere. Especially, I was the one who went through all the trouble to get the place. I wanted to move to Evanston since both of us worked there. He said, "I don't want to live in another apartment." I said, " fine, then we will buy a place."


He said we didn't have enough money because there were only a few areas he wanted to be. You know the high cost areas. I determined to find a place within our financial ability. I went to look for a Realtor, then went to see all the places, and got my friend to come to check the building, etc. All Ken did was to sign the paper on the closing day.


The condo was like m baby, our relationship was already in trouble, but I thought that we might save it by owning a place. Well, it didn't happen that way. When the time came for the divorce, the place became a burden. We had to stay as roommates for two more years, but it was still a home to me.


I own, half of it. I felt like going home after work, I enjoyed my bubble bath at night. Then, eventually, we had to give up the place. At that time, my ex-husband wanted me to go back to him, it was hard to see the place wouldn't belong to me anymore. It was like losing a baby. I told him, just leave me alone for a while. We still talk and care about each other.


When his son Lyn came to Honolulu. How I wished that I had a place for him. I missed my condo. Lyn came to visit us many time when I had a "home". I don't know how to describe the feelings I have now. Only I wish that I could afford a place I can consider as a home. The place I live now is temporary, you know that I just try to live a day for a day, to pass the time so I can find a home someday.


I even imagine just to marry someone who has a home. Of course, I would not do that, but the thought of it makes me sad. How I long to have a home. I do know one thing when I really feel at home is when I am on stage, when I am performing and when I am teaching!


Feb. 5 1997


1 don't feel very happy when I think about home, especially right now. I just got a letter from my father. there were three pictures about my nephew's one hundred day's birthday celebration. Three pictures: my cousin and her son, my sister and her son, my father and her grandson. It was just too much for me. My cousin is half year older than me and she has a eight year


sold son. they all have a family. A Home. Well I've chosen my own path. And I set my home in a far away land. I never realize how far it is.


Actually I am still looking for my home. where is it? What is a home? I think that a home to me is to find inner peace, to find myself, to know myself better. I even think about marrying someone who has a "home", so I can feel at home. Inner peace, know where you belong, a home can be very crucial.


My little studio serves as my home now if you can call it a home. It is a place I feel save and free, I walk around the place naked, I can do whatever I feel like doing: sleeping, reading, listening to the music, watching TV, doing exercise, singing in the shower. Although I sometimes do feel that I can't breathe, it is TOO small for two persons. Was I crazy to invite my boyfriend to stay with me? I think So.


I long for home, for my roots. The Stage. I feel at home when I perform. I feel totally happy when I am on stage. I belong to the stage. Stage is my home.


Home is so clear to me, yet so vague. It's so close yet so far. It makes me wander, yet keep me in touch with the earth. Home is here, home is there, home is where. Home is me, I am the HOME.

Back to OHPN Events 1997