Thursday, September 27, 2007

Home Sweet

 Ilam hybrids. What is home anyway? It's the four walls around you, whatever they are. A house, an apartment, a telephone booth (if you're Superman). It's the place where you can scratch when it itches, wherever that is.

It's a region sometimes. Home for me used to be Arkansas, where they have gorgeous azaleas like these pictured. For many years as the plane landed at Little Rock National Airport (don't get me started on THAT), I felt I was coming home. As I strolled in my parents' neighborhood and saw the familiar houses, I felt I was home. I still think of the Ashcrafts living next door and the Isenmans over on the next street and the Jackman house is still the one on the corner, even though those families are long gone (and in some cases dead).


But I realized that it's not home any more. It's too different. The stores aren't right. The lanes of traffic aren't right. Right near my family's house is an intersection where someone decided to paint four lanes going across. The only problem is there isn't room for four lanes. There might be room for three. So when you come barreling down the rather steep hill toward this intersection and you get into what seems like the left lane to turn into my parents' street, you will notice that OHMYGODTHEREISN'TENOUGHROOM. Just a little blood pressure elevation to add variety to your day.

See, I don't accept the last twenty years of development in Little Rock. All those stores and malls and Arby's and McDonald's out in the west part of town? I don't accept them. I don't know how to get there anyway.

Meanwhile, I've lived in New England for lo these many years and it should be my home. It should. But you know, I pronounce "ant" and "aunt" the same. This will never be my true home. It's funny when you head back to Massachusetts from Arkansas. The people are so different on the airplane. They all have laptops and books. They're quiet and look like they have advanced degrees from a better school than where you went. I'm not exactly at home here either.
So what am I saying?
I don't know. I'm just rambling right now. Trying to get back in the groove. Grading 15 papers per day and it's a ball buster, pardon my francais.
A bientot


At 1:58 AM , Blogger sandman1 said...

I know the feeling. I too grew up in the south and live now in the north, somehow missing real ties to either. Once uprooted, can we ever be replanted? It must be even harder to immigrate.

The mobility and technology in our society adds options to life but any adapting we do has to come without the benefit of evolution. A few hundred years ago people who up and moved probably were a motivated select few; now I wonder what percentage of the population doesn't move away from the childhood home town.

Probably living alone exacerbates all this. Maybe all this information technology will mitigate it. Ten or twenty years ago we wouldn't be having this interaction.

At 6:19 AM , Blogger beckymotew said...

How true, SM. Talking on the computer has taken the place of actual interaction. And thank god for it.


At 5:42 AM , Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Hi Becky - good to have you back 'home'. Home has been on my mind lately too with my writing infused so much with my childhood memories of home - and never feeling that I really left 'home'. I think it's not just the one place in the end. We travel to and we travel from.
Oooh how deep is that?! Blimey.


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