Monday, August 3, 2009

BlogNotes: I’m Back and Feeling My Placelessness

Florida Redbelly Turtle Pseudemys nelsoniImage via Wikipedia

After 3 hours in traffic, 3 hours waiting at the airport, 14 hours of flight where my poor body was twisted, folded, crumpled and suffered from WBRS (whole body restless syndrome in the economy section), 4 hours of waiting in another airport (this one offers oxygen aromatherapy, manicure-pedicure, anti-jet lag facial skin care, and massages -- be stone for $150, be happy chair massage for $67 and for just $30, a bikini wax—I skipped!), and another hour on the road, I finally got home. I left on a Friday and got here on a Sunday; in the most ungodly hour just when the bars were closing down and drunks were steering themselves happily home.

I’m not going to this again; I tell myself that after every trip. Yeah.

It’s been harder especially in the last two years. All this traveling is hard on the body that is growing older everyday, of course; but I think, it’s also harder on the psyche. I almost forgot my Friday flight. That has never, ever happened before. Truth to tell, I was not ready to come back …

…from the best, golden weather in the country to the hottest, most humid summer weather in the universe (pardon the hyperbolic slant).

… from wide, open roads, and hills, and mountains to flat lands and narrow streets where parking on both sides of the street is the norm. … from huge, green parks where folks walk their dogs and clean after them, to postage sized, semi-brown parks where scoop the poop is a concept from Mars.

… from a place where drivers treat pedestrians courteously to a place where drivers treat pedestrians as inconvenience or worse, road hazards.

… from a place where tolerance and diversity is part of our continuous search for perfecting the union to a place where “the other” is almost always the enemy (and it's taught in grade school as history).

… from the place where all my catalogs come to life, to a place where your best friend is called Amazon and you go on shopping dates online. (I'll miss Trader Joe's, Target, Vons, Albertsons, Pollo Loco, Ross, Costco, Cinnabon, etc. etc.)

Seriously, I seem to be feeling more deeply the absence of a home rooted in one place, accruing slowly like a coral reef. One does feel occasionally like a turtle carrying his home on his back, suffering from placelessness. As Wallace Stegner writes in The Sense of Place, “acquainted with many places, he is rooted in none.”

Is it just me or are you feeling it, too? Sorry, not the most cheerful post-vacation entry, huh? I know I should have done that anti- jet-lag thingy at the airport. Some sleep should perk me up!?

Best, DS (Domani Spero as in "tomorrow ... I hope?")

Thanks to Diplopundit friend Giasone for the name; I got tired of "DS" being confused with Dept of State, Diplomatic Security, Doctrine Sponsor, Deep Space ...

2 comments:

Jill said...

Oh I can so relate... it was very hard to come back to India after almost 4 months in CA and the ease of absolutely everything...

Trader Joe's, Ralphs, clean malls, fast food... such good times!

But we'd miss this lifestyle if we were back in the States, right?

diplopundit said...

Probably! The last time we were back in the US, we ended up staying 5 years; and I my feet got really itchy after the 3rd year.