When I think of my home, I don’t think of one particular place. I think of people I love. I think of the many places where I have left little bits of myself, like a trail of breadcrumbs. I am not saddened by this realization, that I am a nomad. It’s been there for a while, after all. I’ve known for a while. Maybe one day I will be somewhere and not think of the other places, the other places that have either stolen or been given parts of my heart, my mind. Maybe one day I will be somewhere and find someplace where I will not think of playing outside in the darkness, and rain on cement, and rust that is after all just an ugly brown but seems, in memories, to be some kind of precious, reddish gold, some rare thing you can only find deep in a mountain or behind a hidden waterfall. Maybe I will forget about high, golden pyramids and little bowls of spices and a dust land, a desert land that stretches for miles, and then again lush green and rain dripping from huge leaves, like elephant ears, and fertile soil so dark it looks like it’s been soaked with blood and ink.
I do not pretend, I hope, to be some kind of traveling gypsy. Most of my time is spent in one place, in a place I love very much and can’t imagine leaving. And yet…I can, and want to, and there is so much pain and guilt and I am so torn, because I am home, and I am with my friends and my family and I love them, and I love this place and it is the only place in the world that beats out the same rhythm as my heart, as if I came from its very womb and am attached to it in some intangible way.
But there is wind in my blood, and too many other places I love. A country is not just a place with borders on a map and some interesting places to see. A country is alive and breathing, and every country beats differently, pulses to a different beat, breathes a different kind of sigh. A country is a whole world, a whole universe. A country is the soil you walk on, the soul of the eyes of the people you see all around you, the dust in the air, the blades of grass, a scent, a taste, a sound.
People creep into your heart and you feel guilty because you come and take what you can, and then leave. And then you go to the place you call home and write some poetry and pretend to understand. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? You don’t understand, but you want to, and so you dream and you write, and if you are very, very lucky, someday you go back.