We are homesick for places we saw, for those we lived in, just visited or we never knew but dreamed about. But the truth is that we don’t miss the place, but the feelings we had in those moments. We think that we are also homesick for people that meant to us more than they ever knew, but is just our memories attached to them. We associate pieces of these paths with events that happened in our lives, and we return to them trying to feel it one more time. With closed eyes, we can rebuild each step we took, and each side we’ve turned before we will reach the destination. The places we miss are not only the ones where we had the first kiss, a broken heart, we lost someone dear but any other moment that impacted us. We cannot choose the memories we recollect, because when we put our coins in the slot and spin the wheel of fortune, what comes up is only from our luck. Sometimes we pick the good parts, other times those that made us stronger and who we are today. However, imagine if we never had those memories that broke us to pieces, what we could have today and what we could compare them with? We break free from tearing chains, we weep and wash away the pain, we leave behind painful days, but we cannot stop there. There is a longing feeling for something better in our lives that hunts our nights and makes our days move smoothly. Like children’s steps, one after another, we move on in life and we add more events to blend with the old ones. We cannot ever erase the past, but we can have more good days that when added up together will sum greater than all the ones we want to forget. When we move through our life, the moments when we suffered and cried, stay behind, but those who dared to take a chance and move forward, never look back and did not break the spell and brought bad luck. We end up living in-between places, never at home, but never too far from the house we live in most of our time. Today, our home is where our body is, but miles away our soul is traveling to find the lost pieces that got disoriented.
“Every mile was redolent of associations, which she would not have missed for the world, but each of which made her cry upon ‘the days that are no more’ with ineffable longing.”
― Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South
Where is this longing feeling coming from? Why do we miss and look back in time and not live the present moment? This time is just an invention of our lives, or is it just a barrier that keeps us stuck in a place to not be able to go back to the ones that make us feel happy? We search for happiness like we try to find that specific FM station, rotating back and forth the bottom of our faith. Was better before, will be fine tomorrow? What about today? If today we are not able to admit the things that keep up all night, tomorrow those thoughts would become regrets, and the memories would always bring us back to the starting line, losing every round and just running in circles, without never being able to win again on that track. A lost moment is gone for good, those words were going to disintegrate in the thick air, and those eyes that check again the messages in the phone will just collect the pain and the despair, of a time, and of a moment that would never be the same. Those moments that could be added on our journey, are left with the longing feelings, to get back to them every time, when we will start forgetting but also feeling like pulled back by a force that tries to give us one more chance. But there is no magic, and hocus-pocus doesn’t work that way. Once we left our home, we will never be able to be the same again.
“… so delicate, but potent. It makes us a bit more human–is that ache in your heart for a place [or someone] that no longer exists… a sneaky magician. One that takes us by surprise in the most lucid way possible.”
― Efrat Cybulkiewicz
Every place we go and every time our steps take us in different environments will always remain part of our journey. We cannot ever taste the same food without bringing back the memories attached to it. We cannot step on the same streets that once shared on our side those that got attached to our memories. Everywhere we go we leave a piece of our soul in the keepsake of other lands, to be added to the collection of the lost and found feelings. The further we travel, the more we shred our soul in pieces, living a small part to everyone we met, a little bit less is kept from ourselves. We cannot ever be whole after we spread ourselves around the world, and tracking back our steps and recollecting the pieces, would not change our scope and purpose in this life. That’s why every time we want to get back in time, we keep in frames our memories, and we memorize every step we took, in case one day will turn our steps and head back home. But where is home? Is it the place where we were born and lived our childhood? Is it the one where we spent a few days but could not forget no matter how far we got? Home is where we stay with our family, but feel like we don’t belong in there anymore? To be the one where we find peace, even though there is not much to put our hands-on? Where is home, and why we are missing it so much?
“Traveling, she realized, was like a slow dismemberment of the body. It plucked the heart out of her and split it into pieces, leaving a bit behind wherever she went, never to be whole again.”
― Rhian J. Martin
We keep ourselves busy and try to ignore all the calls we get from all those pieces that we lost. We leave this world and we ignore whatever might what to challenge us because we have to accept, that the home we knew would never be the same. We have to learn to create our own heaven with what we have in our hands, and all the longing should be laid down in the foundation of the new home. Once we left a place and see something else we cannot have strong feelings just for one spot. The same is with love or with books. When we love someone so dear all our feelings go to them, but once we separate and start meeting our souls, we leave a lump from our broken heart to them and we will never be able to feel whole. When we read books, with every story we add, we cannot cherish the memories of only one, because once splinted in sections, nothing can stay together anymore and should accept it as it is. But we will always try to trace back the path we took and keep close to our chest the memories that added to our journey because every bit we ripped, no matter how many smaller pieces, back together, one day will recreate the whole. Those memories are like a brick of gold, that once was whole, but chunk after chunk ripped and become dust. One day, with the help of passion and desire, all those bars would melt together from so much love and would be able to reshape it in a better form, indestructible, and in a forever place that we can call it HOME.
“But the thing was – those books were what made my days bearable. They were what helped me sleep at night without my homesickness choking me. Without books, what was there to look forward to?”
― Aisha Saeed