Monday, January 11, 2010

On being Away

In editor's page of this month's Oregon Humanities, Kathleen Holt quotes Pico Iyer as saying, "'The most distant shores, we are reminded, lie within the person asleep at our side.' In this sense, away is about attachment and detachment, about allegiance and commitment, about seeking and, if we're lucky, finding."

If being away is about finding, then I'm on the right track.

Sometimes it's hard to explain the need to move, to travel, to meet new people on the other side of the world, when I could do just the same in the United States, within a few hours' drive from home. I know as well that people are similar everywhere. I've found most to be trustworthy and helpful when another is in need.

When then, with the move?

For me it's about the learning, the experience, the socialness, the discovery that people truly are the same underneath it all.

And so I have found some things since moving to Germany. Besides my German skills, I have found my soft side, my empathy, my interest in other people's stories. I've found my love of snow, my capacity for relationships and my interest in running. In two short months, I've found a feeling of home, a feeling of stability and of place in this world.

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