"Going Home" Dwight Williamstrish said...
A bit of completely unrelated and maudlin navel-gazing this Christmas Eve:
I don't know why it didn't occur to me until yesterday that when I leave here I am going to lose the unique sense of freedom that comes with being a stranger in a strange land and that this is the cause (along with leaving behind those I've grown to care for and can't take back with me) of genuine sadness.
That my last pony ride was as a puke diplomat ( : ) ) in a third world country just beginning to take off, I find astounding once again - after having grown so used to it as to regard it as perfectly mundane. This has, after all, been home for two years. My everyday scenery; my life. And yet, who am I kidding, it's not TRULY home. Hence the oddly felt freedom of the resident foreigner, the transient, the In Between.
Somewhat paradoxical, that sense of freedom, given that I've never had to be more circumspect, but I benefit from
a renewed and deeper appreciation for that particular facility as well. It keeps things moving along when things need urgently to be kept moving along.
So it was inevitable that I would reach the moment of ambivalence about my return home. But as my grandfather used to say to me (and it's the curse of plenty of Army brats), "Wherever you are, you want to be someplace else. Wherever you're going, you'd rather stay instead." Irritated the hell out of me at the time, his saying that. But there's quite a bit of truth in it.
(I recall sitting at my parents' kitchen counter the morning we flew out, knowing that I really had not a clue what I was in for. All things considered, that was probably the best way to go.)