Monday, June 16, 2008

It's always sunny

I just got back from San Francisco, which I was visiting for a conference. Before leaving I was slightly apprehensive - not because I thought that anything bad would happen, but simply because I am a nostalgic person by nature, and I worried that being in a place I so loved living in would tap into some deep emotional wellspring, an unquenchable urge for the past.

This is the thing about places: I am attached to them. Back in college, I remember a friend of mine introduced a reading (from the literary magazine which she had edited, and which I myself would go on to edit) by noting that most, if not all the pieces to be presented centered, revolved, or oscillated quietly around the concept of "place" - an easy thing to do for would-be metropolitan youths stuck by choice in the middle of Iowa. I stood up and read a poem which had nothing to do with this idea, and I felt weirdly smug about it, as though I were transcending some undesirable state of mind or bucking a trend when in fact I was doing neither, I was just reading a poem.

But after living abroad, moving to various unknown cities, and watching how both my life and my writing change as a result, I don't disassociate myself from the concept anymore. Once you've felt displaced, a sense of place seems like a marvelous idea.

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Blogger Mozzadrella said...

I didn't know you felt SMUG!!!

9:58 AM  

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