Saturday, July 15, 2006

Home sweet home

from Wendy
Kathryn Heyman's article 'There's no place like home' was published in today's
Good Weekend magazine supplement of The Age newspaper.

The author, an Australian, lived in England and Scotland, but was homesick for the landscapes of Australia, yet when back at 'home' longed for the soft landscapes of Britain. Her words resonate for me because the flat, barren landscapes of the Australian Mallee is always there in my memory. Yet I am content in Geelong, a provincial city by Corio Bay. I also long for the various greens of Fiji's lushness and forests as well as the babasiga and talasiga rolling grass-covered hills of western Viti Levu and also Macuata in Vanua Levu.

Kathryn Heyman wrote: Increasingly, we live lives of movement; emigration is a small matter, at least in terms of practicalities. We find lovers who belong to other places, we move to be with them, or they with us. Careers blossom, and invite permanent travel. Perhaps, though…. to imply that place, and our connection to it, matters more than we can dare admit. In constantly shifting town, state and continent - in endlessly seeking the new - we lose not just the familiar, but also the sense of physical roots.

Absence of home, the being cut loose, creates a kind of freedom. Like adolescents escaping from the parental abode, we become able to test out new identities, to find other selves lurking within. Yet without rediscovering home, I suspect we are unable to truly grow up. Home implies not just rest and ease, but work and commitment. …The trick, of course, is to recognise Elsewhere for what it is, and - perhaps harder - to know Here, or home, when we find it.


Pandabonium said...

We make emotional connections to places - not to mention people. Sometimes there are reasons to move on and we need to deal with the longing or even loss of our past frame of reference. Or if someone dies, there is nothing to do but deal with it in the ways we have learned.

It is nice when circumstances permit us to travel back and/or reconnect at will.

I am thinking of my high school band director who was a big influence in my life. Through the internet I reconnected with him - and half dozen of other band members. Now he is dying of cancer and I know he will be gone. Yet, how wonderful that I, and other classmates, was able to find him and thank him before this disease took him from us forever.

We need to connect to our world and also to reason about it. Finding our balance and place in it all can be a challenge.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

I posted that quote because it is relevant to so many of us today as we move from place to place. Perhaps we are nostalgic at times and connect primarily with the place of our youth. 'Those were the days my friend, I thought they'd never end' - well, Belo Street, Samabula in Suva was a perfect place to live when I was 23!
Close members of my family of course connect primarily with Labasa.
After the news this week concerning Lebanon and Israel I think of thousands of Australian citizens holidaying in Lebanon - people with Lebanese relatives. Some were able to escape and one man at Sydney airport said 'I'm glad to be home!'
But home for so many people these days is a place of disaster and nightmare.