a wandering woman writes

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Two travelers speak of home

I was lead back to a favorite essay recently, an open letter from one wanderer and traveler to another.

It's by Danusha Goska, who ......well, I'll let you discover her for yourself.

From "The Illusion of Protection: Two Travelers Speak of Home":

You mourn "always being on the outside, forever looking in." Are not your nation, your compatriots, and your home, then, those who are also? Outside isn't just an address; it isn't just the line you stood in to get your Canadian visa. It starts with the dictionary function, with definition. Too many grant acceptance only to others who are predictable representatives of a type, and can fit a prebored slot. People can become frightened, angry, and alien when they discover that I have an enthusiasm not part of the expected repertoire of a Polak from New Jersey. They suspect legerdemain, false advertising; they want to call the Chamber of Commerce.

The liberal who's pro-death penalty, the pro-choice Catholic, the African from Poland: all these definition transgressors risk home with their very identity. Find them. And find gay men, working class intellectuals, wheelchair athletes, women who are neither wives nor mothers, lone teen boys whose eyes light up when you say something true about the paperback peeking out of their pocket. Next, you must cherish them. Conventional etiquette will not referee here. You must heed your heart and honor invented holidays to build this home.

Wait, I can't stop there....a few more lines:

You ask: "Do we travel because we can't find a real home?"

I don't know. But I don't think travelers can ever again have a single home, except within themselves, if they allow travel to do what it can.

Oh, yes. And I'll leave you with this:

Travel draws out of us a person who couldn't exist in any other environment. When we leave, we say farewell with no guarantee we'll ever meet again.

You can read the entire essay, called "The Illusion of Protection: Two Travelers Speak of Home" here.
And find more of Danusha's writing on her web page.



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