But back to that guessing game. . . one of the directions I want to pursue as I get into the year's blogging is toward understanding the distance between Here and There, to work out some of the pull that Travel exerts for me, and to think about how that pull, and the time I spend away, changes my experience of Home.
|While it's taking me forever to get to the guessing game in the blog text proper -- amusez-vous by trying to place this image. Where do you think I took this photo?|
There was a point last year, mid-February, I think, when the idea of moving overwhelmed me. No one except our realtor, a friend of mine, knew that we were getting ready to list our home in March, and I knew she would accept any decision we made, would never pressure us to go ahead before I was ready. And although I could rehearse and agree with all the reasons we had for making the move then, I told Pater I needed to hold off a bit and seriously think -- and feel! -- whether or not I could make such a drastic move. I felt, at the time, that there had simply been too much going on (one daughter's cancer; another's move, with family, to very distant shores; my retirement, due partly to an ongoing mix of fatigue and anxiety and amorphous, intermittent sadness).
What does all that have to do with Travel, you might legitimately ask. Oddly, perhaps, I determined my readiness to move was by imagining that we'd been offered a year in France, Italy, Spain -- or even other interesting and attractive locales, but less familiar places for which we had no relevant language skills. I realised that I would say "Yes!" to such an opportunity, and my next recognition was that if I were lucky enough to spend a year like that, the year's distance from home would loosen ties that -- at that moment -- had been feeling like life safety ropes. If I could manage a year away, even thrive, find that year liberating -- as I could easily imagine, even as I imagined the challenges -- I knew I'd come back changed enough that I might be keen on our return.
|Can you guess the city that hosts this street mural?|
This post is just meant to introduce a topic I hope to nibble at here over the next month or so, something about the ways that Home can be enhanced by leaving or perhaps more that there are aspects of Home that are portable or can be recreated -- or perhaps even that sometimes we might benefit from shucking our shells and working for regrowth. And that Travel (and of course Travel can take many forms, can't it, depending on the context) might have something to do with that process. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic, whether you move every two or three years and wonder what the fuss is about or you've stayed in the same home for decades and know that the values of deep-rootedness outweigh any possible benefits of a move.
And may I just add here that while I was being overwhelmed by the thought of moving, I couldn't help being aware of the world's desperate and involuntary migrants, especially as my country was doing its best to accommodate 25,000 Syrian refugees taken in during the previous 3 months. So yes, I did try to maintain some perspective on our move of choice from beloved comfort to probable comforts yet unknown.
As for The Guessing Game? These two street murals are obviously by the same artist, but one of them is to be found only a few blocks from home whereas the other sparked my recognition when I came across it in Bordeaux last September. Can you guess which is which? Answer to be revealed next post . . .