It’s just a place. Like any other. You’re there, and then you’re elsewhere. After awhile, you end up with a lot of elsewheres. A lifetime of elsewheres. Some places put a hook in you because of their beauty or strangeness or because they resonate with something inside. Some places are just home.
Home is difficult, partly because you take it for granted when you’re there. it’s only after you’ve left that you feel its absence. it’s really only when you can never go back. Homes give out on us or we on them. Before we feel too sorry for ourselves, there are whole peoples who can’t go home, who have been forced to leave, who carry the deepest of wounds because their home has been taken from them.
But homes are taken from all of us. Sometimes very quickly. One day, you turn around…and that’s it. There’s no going back. Then where are you?
Where you are now, I suppose. The home waiting to be lost. The place that will someday belong only to memory. With time, the memories belong to a smaller and smaller pool of people. Eventually, they’re gone, and those homes are forever erased.
Some deal, huh? It’s weirdly beautiful, though. Perfect in its imperfect way. Time is not our friend, but it does grant us a store of experience, which becomes all that much more precious as it gathers attendant loss. Eventually, we pay for it. Forever moving forward. But the past follows, and as painful as it can be, bearing its weight, we should be grateful for the things we’re allowed carry. Because they belong only to us, until we must relinquish them, and they cease, altogether, to exist.
That's when they take us with them.
George Saunders Meets with Local Writers - George Saunders appeared at Portland Arts & Lectures on Thursday, October 12. That afternoon he met with a group of local writers and shared his thoughts o...
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