'Prepare to be immersed in the heat and vibrancy of Florida's natural world, full of such sensual detail that to read it is to breathe it in.' -Jo Shapcott [review of Greyhound Night Service]

Away from home

I've just received a message that a very dear friend of mine logged in to read my blog and saw that I hadn't written since June, so she phoned my house, (where I am not), to see if I am okay. Thank you for that! I have spent the past month doing a lot of travelling, mostly for my phd, and now I am currently in the US to be with my sister as she has her first baby. Lots of being in vastly different places lately, from Lumb Bank at an Arvon course to the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides, (and each time home in between briefly before going again), and now, as of just a few days ago, South Carolina.

And for the past couple of weeks I've been working on a writing assignment that has put me in an interesting arrangement to all of my travel: write about 'home' every day for a month, without mentioning any houses I've lived in. (Assignment thanks to Roselle Angwin).

I'm here because I want to post some of these writings (not necessarily in order) and to begin to reconnect with my blog.

Home: Isabel Allende says--'gather your family around you; live as a tribe.' Talking to a woman from Barra on the long 10 hour journey by ferry and train between her front door and her family's house, she speaks of isolation without using too many words. Her tribe, her family beyond her own children and husband, are as far away as my own is from me. It takes her just as long to reach her family as it takes me to reach mine. Home=tribe, but what happens when your tribe are not gathered together? No matter where on Earth I may want to live, for the beauty of a place or for what it offers me of silence or inspiration, I am growing to learn--perhaps the hard way--that in some places, no matter how I may connect with them on my own, I won't find home there because the places are too geographically removed, that bit too uncomfortably far from my tribe. This is a difficult lesson to learn, to become aware of: leaving a place of deep beauty and silence and sea and safety, longing to be part of this but knowing it is one step too far removed. I need my tribe near...nearish by...nearing...nearby, nearer by than I care to admit sometimes!