Sunday, August 18, 2013

Home or Elsewhere

         These full moon evenings are so fleeting, if not in their duration, then in the number of them I have left in this place. I will miss the southern sky. I will miss it desperately.
        Dusk came down around me tonight like a slow curtain, the drawing down of the final act of the day. I was sipping a glass of wine as I usually do because it reminds me of my father. I was smoking a cigar as I usually do because it reminds me of my grandfather and because my neighbors hand roll the tobacco and it is gorgeous to see their dark, driftwood hands delicately handling the leaves until they are no longer leaves but fine long braids of herbal, smokey, smooth meditation.
        I think I will cry when I leave Peace Corps, when I leave Paraguay, but I am still trying to figure out why.
        There is a home that I have some million of light-years away from this place. I know that. I remember that place in my bones; my muscle memory of suburban America may be dulled and confused, but I have no doubt that I will sigh when I finally lay back down in that same old bed in the basement that my dad carved out of wood all those years ago.
        At the same time, I could not be farther from that place, that home. I am farther from it than I have ever been and I wonder if I will have to make a decision eventually whether I want to go back to it, back back all the way back to the cradle of familiarity and ease of comfort, or to carry on farther away until I can no longer even see it or feel it on the horizon.
        I have a home here in Paraguay. I know that. I feel that in my bones every morning when I wake up. Whether it is a good day or a bad day, it is a day that will pass under this sun that I have come to hate and respect, next to these once-strangers that I have come to know and love, in this great expanse of red dirt and green grass and parceled-out forests that have stained my hands and breathed life into my tattered soul when I felt lonelier and emptier than ever in my entire life. I will miss the southern sky.
        Home is a strange idea. Some people always have it their whole lives, almost without respite. That must be a glorious feeling, it must also be paralyzing. Some people never have it and find no need to seek it. That must be a glorious feeling, it must also be lonely. Some people have it and then loose it, whether by fate or by choice, and spend their lives trying to recover it or to carve a new one out of whatever they find as they wander.
        I am of the latter category. I had a home, a lovely beautiful home with family and friends that loved me dearly and whom I loved back. The love is still there, but one day I chose to leave and once that decision has been made, there are inconceivable obstacles in any direction from that point onward. I will always love where I came from, if for no other reason than that it carried me though so many years without letting me fall too hard. I was the vessel that unaware traveled along the strange path of middle-class suburbia.
        Since then, that same vessel has crossed continents and climbed mountains, laughed and cried and soared and sunk. I have loved deeply, broken into pieces, thought about nothing and everything, and still I am that vessel but instead of being carried, I am carrying on myself. I will always love where I came from. But I will always love where I am going more.
        If the day comes where I must choose: home or something beyond, I think I will always choose to keep walking. Everything changes. Always. That home I left does not exist anymore. Only insomuch as I hold it in my head and my heart. There is nothing to go back to, there is everything stretched out ahead of me. It is hard and it is terrifying and I don't know if I have the courage or the strength sometimes. I doubt myself. But that is what the wine is for. 
        Adelante chera'a.

from Paraguay,
-little hupo

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