(n.) a homesickness for a home to which
you cannot return, a home which maybe
never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the
grief for the lost places of your past
Is that what I have been feeling most of my life? As a little girl, returning to the US from Afghanistan, I talked about the place and none of the other children, in the early 1960s, believed that there was even a place with that name, much less that I had lived there. All of my drawings had huge mountains in them. The mountains I saw every day.
I have lived in many places that I called home. When I wake up, sometimes I wonder which place I am waking up in. A dream of myself in these different places, me at different ages; little and wanting my mother. A mother myself and nursing a baby, which baby? It depends, where are we? Where are the babies now. All grown and gone. Was all of that, that I lived real? Amazing!
All of the transitions in life. Are they each a home. For a while you are a baby. For a while a little kid. A teen. A wife, mother, mother, mother. Then an aging wife with an aging husband.
Nothing new really. We all go through it. That's the ride and we all have a ticket.
My friend, Sue's memorial service is tomorrow. Of course I will be there. I was planning to speak, but have no voice- laryngitis. So I will listen. And no doubt cry.
I've been sick for almost a week with some sort of sore throat, wheezing, coughing thing. Shortness of breath took me to the doctor yesterday where we discovered that my oxygen levels were too low and I had some cloudiness in the lower lobe of my right lung. Not quite pneumonia. But a worry.
The two previous nights I had been afraid to go to sleep because I felt that I was going to stop breathing in my sleep. I often say I am not afraid of death. Well, maybe I am. Or maybe I just feel like I am because I am not done yet. I feel like I am still finding my way.
So who is "done". Nobody I suppose. Although, there comes a point when you really know it is coming. Well, maybe. Maybe for some people. My mother knew she was dying. She was sad when she asked me "am I going to die?", and I said "yes". We both cried. She said it wasn't fair. I agreed. But, when it happened, it was sad and sweet and lovely and unbelievable. She said her goodbyes. She whispered to her sister "I'm going to miss you". She asked my sister "will you miss me?"
To quote ts elliot:
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
Is that hiraeth, or is it the opposite?