“Maybe your country is only a place you make up in your own mind. Something you dream about and sing about. Maybe it’s not a place on the map at all, but just a story full of people you meet and places you visit, full of books and films you’ve been to. I’m not afraid of being homesick and having no language to live in. I don’t have to be like anyone else. I’m walking on the wall and nobody can stop me.” -Hugo Hamilton
This is what I think: when I was a child home was not a pleasant enough place, people were not overwhelmingly comforting. Life was a series of uncomfortable moments: of sadness and fear and guilt and shame. There were lots of times of laughter and silliness and living in the leaves. There were days of sprinting in the sun and sleeping with a grin. But it wasn’t enough to convince me.
I find myself melting into families, soaking up the homes. I don’t know if I’ve formed any idea of belonging or home or family. I know that there have been Sunday afternoons when I was supposed to feel like I belonged but I still didn’t. I had a place at the table but my feet couldn’t reach the floor from my chair. I could come and go as I pleased and I was seen and heard but on the inside I was anaesthetized. Something was missing–I was functioning like a lobotomy patient technically alive but not functioning to my fullest capability. There was a void.
There are times now when the door is open to me and I cross the threshold and I am content to stay. Nothing in me reaches out beyond to something more or something other. I eat at the table and it is nice to share from the bowl. My brain has been rewired, restructured, reformed. I’ve sought out the people and the places that quiet the lacking. It doesn’t make sense sometimes, it’s irrational sometimes, the people I seek and the places I end up. But. I face you and nothing in me feels dead. Nothing in me feels inaccessible. I think that’s something to do with family and belonging but I’m not sure yet.