I'm in the airport terminal on my way back to Durham. The last pages of the Easter book have been read, the last stitched completed on the scarf, the goodbye coffee has been drunk, and I am going back, once again, away from one 'home' to another 'home', of sorts, although I'm unsure how much any of these supposed homes mean anymore. Every time I go home and leave again there is a perpetual process of confusion, readjustment, shifted vowel emphasis, shifted expectations.
I am eternally grateful for the opportunity I have now to work and study and stay in one place and be paid for it. But I won't pretend it's not getting harder to maintain contact with friends and family, to find relevance in a homeland that feels so strangely foreign, to trade one set of vowels and familiar sounds for another, to set aside what you really want in order to help your future-self get a break. England is so close, but so alien.
There's something about leaving for the millionth time; you pack up your things, close the bedroom window, say goodbye to the dog and presume you'll never see the cat again (but she keeps on keeping on), tell your parents you love them and will see them soon, and on you go. Boarding passes, 100ml liquids, currencies and bank cards, hand luggage and sim cards. The signs and symbols of a fragmented existence. I'm hoping to grind the gears slowly to a halt, move somewhere of my own, gain a sense of permanence, have a life that is wholly my own. That's what I hope, anyway.
|My brother and I (taken by Leo) at the Hill of Tara on Easter Sunday|