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Posts Tagged ‘home’

I keep thinking of Hilary Mantel, winner of the Booker Prize, twice. The New Yorker did a wonderful article on her in which she referenced an old belief that one must return to one’s own country within 10 years of leaving or risk never fitting in again (she lived abroad for 9 years before returning to England). We’ve been out five years now but I already feel that old adage wrapping me up in string. I feel a part of Rome; I am becoming etched in its stone. Perhaps it is in my blood, my grandmother being Sicilian, or perhaps I have simply fallen in love with the Italian way of life; I have.

Halloween just passed. I think of the holiday back home, the costumes, candy, fright. To what end? Halloween is All Saints Day here in Italy. It is a day to remember those who have passed, to be with family, feast in honor of the dead. Everything has weight here; everything rests here.

When I returned to the States earlier this year it was like walking into an old closet and putting on your favorite sweater. I felt warm, at ease, comfortable. But then I started to notice how some buttons were missing, a tear where I had not known there to be one, fabric scratching my skin. When I caught my reflection in a mirror I realized the sweater no longer fit me.

I’ve met many ex-pats here, there, around who move like currents over the earth or find new shells to grow old in far away from where they were born and raised. When you no longer see through your culture’s eyes can it still be called home?

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Olympic fever

Once every four years I get to watch men and women run, swim, jump, fly. Once every four years, for two weeks, I am satiated, riveted. Sure, the winter games are on as well, but it’s the sweat and heat that brings me down. The States tried to take it from me, my once-every-four-years ice cream cone. In America all that matters is ratings. Which network wins which prize and how much money they can make from it. For one week I sat in the dungeon of NBC coverage while finishing my too-long-stay back from where I came. Coverage which showed almost exclusively American athletes, ridiculous ratings driven “home stories,” and worst of all simply 3 hours a night after all the results were already in and covered in the preceding news program.
So imagine my delight when finally returning to my home in Rome to find full 24 hour coverage, LIVE! It’s Sunday and I am finally lifting my head from the screen. Thank you, Rome. It feels so good to be home.

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