So I’m jumping on the blog-bandwagon. I figured that for the next year while I’m out of the country in Bangladesh, instead of bothering people with a flood of impersonal mass emails, I would post it all in a one of these hip and trendy blog thingies, so that those interested could read about my life as they pleased. I have an affinity towards digression and half of what I write will probably be more like journal entries for myself to reread one day than anything else... but enjoy...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Traveling to Denmark

Ah beautiful Copenhagen… beautiful Denmark… the land of blond hair and blue eyes… of cheese and liver patte and licorice and gummy bears and rum balls and Carlsberg and soft serve ice cream. It was so wonderful to be back home… in some ways it does feel like home. There is this wonderful coziness to the streets. Kind of like London, streets are all smaller than in the US, cars are all naturally smaller (and gas prices are at about $8/gallon). I am energized whenever I go.

I love hearing Danish. I love trying to converse in Danish. I never went to school there, but mor kept it up with us since we were young. I’ve been told that I have a half decent accent/pronunciation, but it’s funny b/c I have a kindergarten reading level… I can only sound out words. Of course attempting to converse in Danish can be frustrating at times when I can’t fully express all my thoughts due partially to a lack of vocabulary.

When I think about Denmark, I often use the word nostalgia… not sure if I use this word correctly… nostalgia… I don’t necessarily mean it with a negative connation… homesicknesses, reminiscence, wistfulness, longing, melancholy… maybe there is this bittersweetness to my memories of Denmark… but aren’t most things bittersweet...

I suppose traveling is bittersweet. You might love an experience but realize it must come to an end OR something is really not as good as you had expected OR you have distorted memories of doing something and you are let down when you do it for a second time.

Maybe it is something to do with the fact that I feel a bit like a stranger sometimes… I don’t really feel like I have a home. My mother’s home is Denmark. My father’s home is Sri Lanka. Mine is neither. I honestly don’t really feel like the US is my home. I moved there when I was 4, and have lived there most of my life. I am basically American, I just don’t really feel it… and I guess I don’t really want to feel it. But then again, I guess I am like so many. In this day an age of globalization, and constant moving, it’s tough to really be grounded anywhere. Maybe most people can’t really say they are attached to one place…

Hmmm, I wonder if it’s a minority of the world who literally have been born and raised in the same place, and all the family and family as far back as they know also lived in the same place… but then who’s to really say what home is… what one place is… if you move to another state, another town, down the street, you’ve moved, changed your physical settings… and of course your physical settings are constantly changing around you no matter what… hmmm, I guess it’s not possible to be attached to just one place… maybe it’s like the search for balance in one’s life… it’s this constant struggle for dynamic equilibrium. Even someone who says they are American and loves America, one must question this. The physical shape, landscape, culture, politics, etc of this thing called America is constantly changing. The America that one might have felt a part of as a child is not the same America as the one of today. The hometown one grew up is different though parts look the same. The definition of what it means to be American is constantly changing. Hmmm, but over the ages this term American has remained… but I supposed it has remained in dynamic equilibrium…

So… let’s think. What does this mean for me? If everyone in the world constantly feels grounded to something that is ever changing, I suppose my situation is really not that different from everyone else’s. I have connections to many places, to many lands. Memories of places bring me joy. The more lands I see in my life, the more I get to see the memories of lands that other people claim as their home, the more I get to live vicariously through what it must be like to feel grounded to a home… the more memories the more joy… the more memories, the more difficult life becomes. The more one sees of the world, the more extremes one realizes the world has. Beauty beyond ones wildest imagination… ugliness beyond ones worst nightmare. The sharing of joy and peace that invigorate a liberal ideal of cooperation. I suppose I’ll have to settle down at some point, but when you are spoiled by catching the travel bug at an early age, you probably assume all the answers are out there… I suppose at one level we all share the same home while at the same time we are all strangers…

2 Comments:

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