Missing territories

I remain attached to all the cities and neighbourhoods in which I have lived, no matter how briefly. The need for sedentary attachment to the land (la terre), in the end, still conquers the eagerness for nomadism. Sometimes I picture myself at a specific moment and a specific location in my previous life, and the physicality of both the geographical place and of the senses (the light, the temperature, the smells, the textures, the design of the surrounding space) are very much present in shaping my memories.

I remember the late-night cycling into the thickening darkness of the narrow and perfectly straight roads of the Netherlands: the feeling that this was both the ultimate escape and the destination for my endless search of a place to belong, that infinity could somehow be reached merely by keeping the bike wheels turning.

In moving from places to places, from one (micro-)cultural world to another, one network of people to another, – in living in transition –, I feel like having drawn for my life an utterly individual trajectory that resists any attempt to ‘share’. I take no pleasure in this singularity. I used to think home is wherever you are with your loved ones. But what of my other homes, which are nothing more to them but strange names and forgettable stories? I happen to think that home is also nostalgia for a familiar elsewhere; it is longing for the all the places to which you were once attached, and from which you were parted. If so, then I might never be home.

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