18 February 2010

More on home

I'm stuck again in my writing. I had one of the best weeks of my time in England the first part of this month. Writing and alive intellectually. And then I got sick — vomited a couple of times on a train and it was gone.

One of my colleagues is Bangladeshi and part of a project in which he goes to Bangladesh several times a year. He is preparing to fly back on Saturday. I said to him, 'It must be nice to be going home,' and he smiled broadly and I said, 'I wish I could go home too,' but as I was getting to the end of the sentence, I realised it wasn't entirely true. In fact, it was not true at all.

This place that I want to go: I'm not entirely sure where it is. For the longest time, it was going back to being 17, oblivious and religious and driven and in love. I've lost that desire almost entirely in the last couple of years, which is mostly a good thing, but with it, I've lost my ability to think of places and things and people as perfect. In Fukuoka, I idealised being back in college, with my perfect control and perfect set of friends. In Niigata, I idealised being in the UK, studying for my PhD and riding my bicycle to work. Here, I don't idealise anything at the moment. Not because I am content, but because I see that there is nowhere I can go where things will be less complicated.

Maybe this is a function of growing up. I'd like to think that I haven't stopped dreaming of the next thing, of something better and more interesting. Maybe it's that when you're younger, even though it's not possible, you think you can cut free from yourself--all your possessions and connections--and go somewhere new to become someone new. With a wife and two kids, it's more obvious that it is not a possibility. Your attachments are physical; when you're 19 or 20 or 21, it's all inside of you.

The truth is Booker Ave in Milton Keynes is my home, with Yoko and the girls and all the complexities that brings. It's good in the sense that anything in the world is good — I fit here because I am emergent in and with it. It fits me as I fit it. I hope I can catch myself in the future when talk of home comes up and not say things I don't mean.