Because this was the limit of my expectations, I was all the more surprised and bewildered when many years later I came upon a permanent state in which there was no self, no higher self, true self, or anything that could be called a self. Clearly, I had fallen outside my own, as well as the traditional frame of reference, when I came upon a path that seemed to begin where the writers on the contemplative life had left off. But with the clear certitude of the self's disappearance, there automatically arose the question of what had fallen away--what was the self? What, exactly, had it been? Then too, there was the all-important question: what remained in its absence? This journey was the gradual revelation of the answers to these questions, answers that had to be derived solely from personal experience since no outside explanation was forthcoming.
For Frederick Buechner, the meaning of home is twofold: the home we remember and the home we dream. As a word, it not only recalls the place that we grew up in and that had much to do with the people we eventually became, but also points ahead to the home that, in faith, we believe awaits us at life's end. Writing at the approach of his seventieth birthday, he describes, both in prose and in a group of poems, the one particular house that was most precious to him as a child, the books he read there, and the people he loved there. He speaks also of the lifelong search we are all engaged in to make a new home for ourselves and for our families, which is at the same time a search to find something like the wholeness and comfort of home with ourselves. As he turns his attention to our dreams of the heavenly home still to come, he sees it as both hallowing and fulfilling the charity and the peach of our original home.
Writing with warmth, wisdom, and compelling eloquence, Frederick Buechner once again enables us to see more deeply into the secret places of our hearts. The Longing for Home will help to bring clarity and guidance to anyone who searches for meaning in a world that all too often seems meaningless.