Sunday, September 15, 2013

Home

"You are only free when you realise you belong no place - you belong every place - no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great."- Maya Angelou

What I would do to fly home for the weekend to see my friends and family. To talk loudly in restaurants and over each other, the stories tearing out of me and bouncing off the walls. What I would do to be able to sit at all our favourite haunts and be those people that are there long after the food is gone, the people who are nestled together in an impenetrable barrier of noise, the people who the waiters have to eyeball and give the check to so they know they'll have to move the conversation elsewhere. I want to be part of those people again. My kind of people.

And then I would fly back home, well, my other home - here. To settle back into my routine, to see all fifty or so of my kids again, to walk by my senora that sells juice, to chat to my milkshake lady, to open the gate to my house which is guarded by the dumbest (and I write that somewhat affectionately) german shepherd you will ever meet.

Or maybe I would go and visit all of my other people. The ones I met here and in Spain and travelling and back home. My people who are still a whole hand stretch away on the world map, who are equally as far in all directions away from where I am. Friends whom I haven't seen for years, the first flat mates I ever had in Spain who made me bloody marys and cracked open my mind, other students from France and Germany and Poland, we'd gather in a tiny tapas bar and converse in stilted, accented Spanish. Friends who I only met a few months, weeks ago and for whom the missing had already started before they'd really left, back to LA or Sydney or Philadelphia or New York. People who left me with the stiff resolution that, beg borrow or steal, I would get to see their faces again somehow. And other people who don't fit neatly into any box I draw, they're the overlapping shaded part of the venn diagram. All my kind of people from random encounters that couldn't have turned out better if they were planned.

I already know, without having to visit, that it would be like home. That they'd quickly show me where they live and what they're doing now and it'd be as if somehow time stopped and we were immediately back in that space, wherever it was, when we met and became friends.

Being home and away just means your chest has a steady, slow throb for everyplace and no place at all. For all the places your people are, all the places you met, all the places they are now and are going to go. Just like time, geography means my head and heart are often so divided - my skype dates and emails and facebook inboxes are exchanges between Europe, Australia, the States, Asia and those who are scattered amongst South America too.

Sometimes you have to carve out a home for yourself, whittle away at the unfamiliar until you have something you made yourself. Other times home forms itself around you, sticking to your clothes like the smell of a bonfire after a night of making smores. Mostly it's to do with people, your kind of people in your kind of place that nod their heads at you affirmatively in a way that says 'you belong here'. As long as you've got your people you'll always belong somewhere, even if that is everywhere and no one place forever.

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