Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On Leaving and Returning

There are many ways to speak of life. From the infinitesimal to the enormous, most every bit of existence can be taken as a cryptogram of the Great Mystery if properly approached and analyzed. Having travelled to Costa Rica last summer, and having seen any number of strange and new bits of existence, I happened upon a wee thought that I would like to develop further: that going out and returning is, as a twin action, one of the more pervasive and relevant occurrences of life. A meta-narrative? Perhaps. An often repeated phenomenon? Definitely.

It happens in small ways: I go to the store and I do not stay there. Rather, I return home. Large way: I left the US of A. Then, I came back. Metaphysical way: I go through any number of emotional states in a day. Leaving a fixed, rational me behind and becoming either sad, frustrated, glad, etc. Yet I always return to soberness. "Dust to dust," and so on.

It occurs to me that the leaving-to place is less significant than the leaving-from place. That is, the origin--or constant--contains more meaning than the destinations. The origin is home, it is family, it is native country, state and city. It is the self and the identity. Right? When I say "I am from _________." Does that imply that I return there?

I've always been fascinated by people who seem to be from no particular place or who don't appear to have roots in any country or city. To where do these people return? Perhaps they have stronger senses of self and personal identity and so do not need a physical place to go back to, but subsist on their own, internal retreats.

I better keep thinking this one through.

1 comment:

elisabeth said...

I'm inclined to believe those last people can either have a much stronger sense of self, as you describe, or have quite the opposite -- are longing and searching to have one.