Thursday, July 26, 2007

Far From Me

There are some days when I forget about not being at "home" back in London. It just doesn't seem to have a negative effect upon me; it's not hard to not be there.

The last couple of days have not been like that. It's when something bad happens, something that would normally require you to put your arms around someone and give them a great big hug, or you would need the comfort of their arms, that it really really really really... sucks, for want of a more eloquent word, to not be there. And what really hurts is that even if you were living in John O'Groats, you could jump in a car, or on a train, and get there. It would take a while. The distance seems so incredibly far from here, despite it only really taking about ten hours in total - the same time as it would for me to drive (or, more accurately, pay someone else to drive because I am not allowed to do so, seeing as I can't) to Lewisham.

I've been thinking about distance, off and on, for a while anyway, as one of my dearest friends is due to give birth in a couple of months. Her daughter won't know me as anything other than this university friend of her mother who flies in from time to time. She'll know of me, that I'm not doubting. Yet when I think about my mum's friends that I grew up with, who are some of the most important people in my life, they would talk of very good friends of theirs who weren't around and those friends didn't really impinge on me; if they really mattered, they would be around. But to put severe distance between the people here with whom I have developed bonds seems unthinkable, too. I want to see their children grow up.

An amazing woman I heard speak said that when you migrate, you begin to live in two worlds. My thoughts on this have developed further. It's not just two worlds, but it's almost like a horcrux theory (sorry non-HP peeps). It's like you've splintered your soul and one bit is kept in the place that you loved, lived, grew up in, fought, cried, laughed. It's still alive there, and is linked inextricably to that "container." And the other is here with me, just a little less intact than it was. But you can't go back to that fragment and be fully the same person by reuniting the bits. London will always be my home, and I intend to go back there to live - so that, apart from anything else, my children can know the place that formed and moulded me. Yet my relationship with it has changed, and I cannot repair that. I just have to move on and accept that our relationship is not worse, just different. And convince myself of that I will, I'm sure.

2 comments:

Xopo said...

As you know, I've been experiencing the divide for sometime too. Lately, just recently in my last trip to Mex, I began to see the privilege, the advantage, the fortune of inhabiting these two worlds. You can always go back home and live elsewhere and be as much of a citizen of that other place as you can, that's the beauty of it. I guess that at this point in time, I feel like I don't have to make a choice, I can be both, and that makes me happier.

missygp said...

Thank you for a positive spin on it. For some reason I have been feeling pessimistic about the whole thing - I think as I become more accustomed to viewing the next few years being here and am actually happy about that... hard to say. But we must discuss. Over liquor.