I've been away from Tucson so much this year that it sometimes feels like a novelty to be here. Mind you, I've been feeling displaced for much longer than that. It's just that the landscape now mirrors the sense of estrangement I was already muddling through on a day-to-day basis. That may sound like a bad thing -- under other circumstances it certainly would be -- but right now it appears to be a salutary development. Because I'm having so much difficulty feeling "at home," I've been forced to work a lot harder reinforcing the ties that matter most to me. To put this effort in Freudian terms, my perception of das Unheimliche in what should, by now, have the character of an adopted Heimat has exercised homing instincts that might otherwise have been in danger of atrophying. As I was feeling the mesquite beans crunch underfoot today, as I listened to the vuvuzela-trumping din of the pre-monsoon locusts, even as I walked out of air-conditioned environments into that special not-quite-so-dry heat that prevails at the turn of the season, I savored the experience. If I could only transfer that good vibe to my interior space, I actually might manage a sustained period of ease.