Many of us still remember how E.T. wanted to go home.
Many of us talk about “home sweet home” and how “home is where the heart is”, but I often wonder if we’ve lost our way and, unlike what Paul McCartney sang on “The Long And Winding Road”, if it still “leads me back to your door”?
Hong Kong is my home- but what does this actually mean?
Memories of Mum bringing home a $1.80 lunch box from Ong Lok Yuen?
Those days in the old KGV schoolyard?
Home: Is it about friends who have come and gone along with relationships that were meant to last forever, but were short-fused through no one’s fault except for Father Time?
Home: Is it also to do with growing up, falling down, moving fast, slowing down, failure, success, winning, losing, discovering, re-discovering.
When Lynyrd Skynyrd sang about Sweet Home Alabama, it was a joyous, raucous, anthem to their home- and, as a song, one adopted by millions who wouldn’t know Alabama from Buckwheat. But the music- that song- took us there- and to our own Alabamas.
When writing the lyrics to what became the song simply called “Home” with my friend Ben Semmens, it was, yes, about home- but also something there in my sub-conscious about love lost and found in and between the lines while Ben took those words and interpreted them in a way that mattered to him.
To us, it’s probably one of the most honest and important songs we’ve written and recorded as it gives this place called “home”, a roof, a basement, a garden for growth- and a heart.
Heart and that old line about “Home Is Where The Heart Is” is something that time, progress, technology, selfishness, business matters, money matters and a lack of priorities has lost along the way.
That sense of belonging is still with us- somewhere- but it’s either a low priority or has been forgotten along with our Serenity Prayer and when we give thanks for our daily bread.
Perhaps it’s reaching a juncture in my life where priorities have changed. Perhaps it’s where Hong Kong is today- at a crossroads and wondering which road to take while many, to whom this city was home or once was home or is their adopted home, coming together to bring back what this city once was- an international melting pot of ideas comprising different personalities, entrepreneurs and many with their hearts in the right place.
There are people like this still here today and speaking to Douglas Young and Ben Lau, co-founders of the very Hong Kong-centric g.o.d brand, there is a need to bring back that enthusiasm and passion and creativity that made Hong Kong what it was and what is underneath all the skyscrapers and weight of what the greedy landlords and corrupt government and property moguls have tried to smother.
The problem is too many people waiting for too many others to make that first move and others with the ability to bring Change and create a unified Hong Kong being so indecisive, so shackled with tunnel vision about something so obvious that it robs that initial enthusiasm of inspiration, perspiration and passion.
Ben Semmens and I have taken a baby step by making the time to record “Home”.
The song has been adopted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club for its 130th Anniversary, a campaign where it is hoped Hong Kong can come together and led by all the various organizations and initiatives that exist through the financial support received by the organization’s Charities fund.
Yes, even Hong Kong’s racing world has a heart, and listening to Champion Hong Kong jockey for thirteen consecutive years in South African Douglas Whyte, husband, father, friend, and Hong Kong Belonger, talk about what this city means to him- and his family- and its “Can Do” spirit is inspiring.
His are words many should absorb- and Do- instead of procrastinations and dated thinking while sipping from that half-empty glass.
It’s actually half-full. It’s how one chooses to see it.
Where to next? Spread the word.
Bring Home In The Valley to that international melting pot that are those Happy Wednesday Nights at Happy Valley Racecourse.
Invite g.o.d for the ride. Invite all those who can make a difference for the ride.
Turn 130 into a magic number. A calling card. A password.
Whether part of Hong Kong or not, what does home mean to you?
How can you describe it?
Through a photograph on instagram with #home2gether
A poem on instagram #home2gethet
A story on instagram.
Yes, “Send an instant karma to me/Send it with loving care”.
It’s Your Move.
Together, as the song says and Dylan’s album read, no matter where we are, it’s time we started Bringing It All Back Home.