Monday, July 03, 2006

Do I Love America?

I have lived here 19 years now. The past few years have been tough, and my encounter with the criminal justice system has not been nice. So DO I LOVE America?

Well, it' better than a lot of other places, and there are lots of great people here, but I do not love America. Israel is more intense; France is more sensual; Canada is more humane. But most of all, I never met the one here (or I missed him in the rush).

Now I want to go home to Blighty.

And in fact words spoken by my Uncle Geoff decades ago now haunt me: you will travel the entire world, but you will never find home away from Manchester.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sadly, once you leave home, it will never be the same when you return. You can no longer experience "home" with a child's eye. The "sense of place" you have acquired over the past 19 years may work itself back into your conciousness and suddenly compete for the status of "home."

As a recent transplant from Florida to Minnesota, I am experiencing this exact problem. No, this isn't my "home," but neither was Florida. Florida was the place I loved to hate...until I had a son and was able to be "child like" again. Although I have lived near (or on) the ocean for 34 years, I never understood that God (or Gaia) is literally embodied in the scent of the air and rhythm of the waves. I feel like I have been separated from the source of any spirituality that I once had. I am floating in space, waiting for something to "click" so that I can allow myself to settle here and make a life again.

In Northfield, I smell a lot of cow poo and midwestern repression. (Yes, it is so thick you can actually smell the passive-aggressive vibes in the air).

But, what about my home state of Virginia? When I go there, it's not "home" either. People have changed. My family is fractured apart and friends are long gone. Places that I longed to visit again were disappointing. The natural scenery pales in comparison to an afternoon drive up A1A.

The scenery here is even more dramatic... but it doesn't appeal to me. I'm homesick and all of these cornfed fuckers are going to know that I am miserable.

I will defy their martyrdom (which they equate to stoicism), and enter every room with a resounding "Hey Ya'll." If I am suffering, everyone must know it. Minnesota Nice....not this Beeeeatch. I crave drama!

I never thought I would say this in a million years...I really Jacksonville.

And I miss you too, Paul.


Oh yea, I have a friend in the History dept. at St. Olaf. Also a medievalist. Should I do some fishing? I also live near Carleton College. Another prospect..... don't give up on teaching!!!! Too many people NEED to have their value systems rerouted by extreme exposure to your candid and "eclectic" perspective.