It really felt like fall this week. Chilly mornings called for scarves and I was caught off guard more than once by cold ankles and sudden shivers. But I love that September evening long light, every shadow a Giacometti as I walk across St Clair.
This week, I read this piece in the Paris Review and rolled around in ideas about homesickness.
"...hiraeth is a protest. If it must be called homesickness, it’s a sickness come on—in Welsh ailments come onto you, as if hopping aboard ship—because home isn’t the place it should have been. It’s an unattainable longing for a place, a person, a figure, even a national history that may never have actually existed. To feel hiraeth is to feel a deep incompleteness and recognize it as familiar.
Mae hiraeth arna amdanot ti. There’s a homesickness on me for you. Or, if we’re mincing words, I miss you. That’s fair, too. But the deeper, national hiraeth is something you don’t have to go away to experience. You can feel it at home in Wales. In fact, that’s where you feel it most."
I sometimes recognize my longing for Dublin as more of a timesickness than a placesickness — a Dublin that existed for a fraction of a moment in certain memories, rather than a physical place I can revisit. That idea of feeling homesick even when you're in the place you're homesick for resonates with many returns.
Which brings me to Matt's post this week. It wasn't about homesickness, but with all this on my mind his post filled me with certain words tied to certain places, certain feelings for places, certain people in those places.
"a word or sentence can conjure a thousand more words and an uncountable number of associated thoughts and images.
Words can be taken hostage by those places and forms where we first came to feel their real potency. They can be stolen from one context and divert our thinking towards something else. They can seem to belong to this other place. They can travel so quickly and forcibly to that place without our bidding."
It is a beautiful post and I hope you read it in full.
And I hope you have a lovely weekend!