So this is an ‘unofficial’ update, and it may well be uncouth, but whatever… it’s my blog.
The problem with having a ‘photo-blog’ is that you can’t respond as immediately to things as you might like, because quality standards dictate what you end publishing.
Of course, we all know that the best, most insightful posts (at least in the Scottish culture) come from the person that is fairly intoxicated, and so I’ve decided to skip the pictures from tonight till I’m back in the “United” Kingdom to reflect on what’s happened. Most of this stuff won’t even sink in for days, weeks or even months.
So basically, this is going to be one big existential blurb.
I miss Glasgow and its character… the fact that it is my home; the cynical outlook; the community in spite of ridiculous troubles; the charisma and charm… the pride. I miss the accent and the people and the dangerous familiarity that our culture breeds; the communal understanding and bitter undertones. I miss everything about Scotland that I feel sets us apart from everywhere else… the way we live.
At the same time, I can’t help but feel at home here: the politeness of people; the acceptance of ‘the other’; the generosity; the diversity of cultures… and dare I say it, the very capitalist comforts.
I miss Caroline already (can you guess?) I miss Natalie… I miss Jeremiah and Jessie and Matt and Chris and Grace and Deb and JJ and… I miss the frank and open discussions; I miss the people I’ve spent time with and the people who I might well never see again.
My heart feels totally ripped out, and it’s horrific. I feel like I did years ago with people from Inverness and beyond who I would meet but once a year but who I had spent so much time together with and who had had such an impact on my life but who might always remain as simply memories.
This sort of pain isn’t easily explained. It isn’t just an emotional thing… it’s physical. When Caroline left last week I got a taste of it… sick to my stomach for no rational, proper reason… and I’m scared to death of what it might do to me when I get home. Much like I did when leaving that outdoor centre years ago, I am terrified that I will spend days… if not weeks… haunted by the impassible loneliness of being apart from people you have spent so much time with. It’s not about taking away from your own world and routine, but an acknowledgement of what you’re apart from… of the maddening situations that force us into a defined culture and rit, irrespective of our shared humanity… even across thousands of miles.
This may seem to some like I am being dismissive of my own life back home, much as anybody experiencing ‘peaks and valleys’ may do, and to that end it is not. The dilemma is that finding a way of balancing your home, your familiarities and your culture with the free spirit and approach attached to traveling away from where your heart lies is not easy, and is such a horrible conflict to have to deal with.
Bleh. I don’t want to have to go home and deal with the same old struggles with incompetence, financial insecurity and general bullshit… of course I don’t, but then… wherever I make my ‘home’ will come with the same issues.
So how do you quench a desire for people and experiences outwith the familiar? How do you stop the romantic ideas from taking over? Is this experience really any more of ‘reality’ than anything else? I don’t think so, but it doesn’t leave any easy answers.
I feel pretty awful about all of this, and no matter what way I express or turn it seems to be cursed. Cursed if you express a longing for people and situations outwith your home; cursed if you take too much of a passion in those far away… from all sides you’re doomed.
I don’t really have any answers just now, but I hope somebody does, or else life seems to be one big cycle of longing discontent or grateful stagnation.
God, how depressing. I really am an existentialist after all.