31 December 2007

[liff] A Rhetorical Question for Discussion Amongst the Salon

1220. What is is about a certain place ... if one was born there and spent their childhood there, regardless of where they go or what they do, even if there is a high certainly within norms of probabilty that they will never permanently return, they still feel like a piece of themselves is there, and when they pass through, they feel like they're visiting home?

Some philosophical poser once said You can't go home again.

Someone should have cc'd Home in on that memo.

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stan said...

I can think of a thousand what-is-its about my hometown that still make it home to me. A small sampling includes Doug fir trees, Powell's Books, Mt. Hood Pizza, Biddy McGraw's, Music Millenium, Marine Drive, The Lucky Lab, all the bridges, Saturday Market, Honkin' Huge Burritos on the Square, Hawthorne Blvd., every McMenamins establishment I have ever been to (even Mall 205), Rocky Butte, Du's Teriyaki and Montavilla Baptist Church).

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

I hear you on that Stan. The familiar things about the place where we grew up are some of the reason why there is indeed no place like home.

For me it goes a little bit deeper. There are fir trees and favorite restaurants and happy places for me in just about every place I've lived–and if I have no happy places, I make them.

But when it comes to the town I was born in, there's something else at work there. I will only go so far as to say that my childhood in my birth town wasn't the happiest place–I was an awkward kid who was quite low on the social totem pole.

When my family moved down to Salem, it was my vow to never come back. I am no closer to breaking that vow now as I was then; me and The Wife are happy Portland area homeowners ... we have roots.

But, just as I am obsessed with maps, I tend to invest the very geography of a place with a certain personification. When I visit the town I was born in, I almost feel it welcoming me back for the visit. I get this feeling in no other place or town I've ever been (well, except Portland now, of course, but it's a different thing somehow).

It's like Silverton owns a physical piece of me that it will never give up, irrespective of whether or not I ever go back there.