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Homing Device - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Homing Device
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.

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abendstille From: abendstille Date: July 10th, 2010 07:15 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
home - heimat- is such a tricky concept.......it never worked for me, not even when i was a little child and with "my family". It seems that "longing" was the enemy of the home concept and longing always won.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: July 11th, 2010 06:44 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm sure that was hard to live with when you were little, but I wonder if it might have proved helpful later in life. At any rate, I really like the notion that home -- where young people are still expected to achieve a feeling of belonging -- is opposed to longing.

For my part, my sense of what is and isn't home is grounded on memories of interacting with a landscape. I might write of feeling at home in the Bay Area or the D.C. Area, where my parents now live, but ultimately what I experience there is still a home away from home. The rural Pennsylvania in which I spent my pre-teen years, in a house situated on 38 acres of former farmland, most of it long since reverted to wooded wilderness, is the place where I would always want to return if my true home is what I seek,

(Oh, and very nice to have you as a friend!)
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