Friday, May 10, 2013


Andrew Largeman: You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of a sudden even though you have some place where you put your shit, that idea of home is gone.
Sam: I still feel at home in my house.
Andrew Largeman: You'll see one day when you move out it just sort of happens one day and it's gone. You feel like you can never get it back. It's like you feel homesick for a place that doesn't even exist. Maybe it's like this rite of passage, you know. You won't ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I don't know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.

Excerpt from Garden State

          As I have begun my summer reading list, I have been struck by the concept of home once again. I have written several times about not belonging anywhere and the couple of places that have felt like home (Colorado and Northern Iraq), but today while reading Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orphan Pamuk, I am once again feeling like I don't have a place to call home. Pamuk's Istanbul is a sort of memoir where Pamuk describes the city with beautiful language, looking at his memories as a child and his life now as an adult in the city. He describes the beauty and the desolation and hopelessness of a city of ruin. However, what makes the book remarkable is that Pamuk has the authority to describe the city because he still lives in the apartment building where he grew up. He is so intimately connected with the city, and this connection holds him, even when he has the opportunity to move away. I am jealous of this intimacy. 
          Just like Andrew from Garden State, I feel homesick for a place that does not exist. While reading Pamuk I felt the desire to move to Istanbul. His descripitions of the city were so hauntingly beautiful that one feels the beauty and poetic meloncholy that the city brings. But I realize that even if I would just pack up and move there, it would not be home in the way it is for Pamuk. I would just be some Western girl in a foreign city. I doubt I would be able to experience Istanbul the same way a native experiences it. And from my Spring Break there, I really do not believe I would like to live there, even as I am intrigued.
           But this reading made me wonder what place will become my home-- or will I ever find a place that truly feels like home? Am I just a "Hopeless Waunderer" to quote a favorite Mumford and Sons song or will I someday find a city where I put down roots and become intimately connected. And will this only come with a family as Andrew from Garden State suggests? As much of an adventurer that I am, I long to feel at home in a place; I long to belong somewhere and know that I am home. It is funny because so far I have found places that feel like home (Colorado, Iraq), and I have found places where I belong (EMU), but as of yet, I have not been somewhere where I feel as sense of belonging and home. 

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