Address Unknown

Last night, I saw a brilliant play by The Civilians called “Gone Missing,” in which vignettes compiled from interviews with New Yorkers about things they have lost throughout their lives emphasize the perhaps not-so-opposite notions of “lost” and “found.” I learned, through a story about the Lost City of Atlantis, that the etymology of the word “nostaliga” comes from the Greek for “severe homesickness” (nostos meaning “homecoming” and algos “pain, grief, distress”). This fascinates me – that which we yearn for is that which causes us sadness. We knowingly engage in what is inevitably an endless cycle of want and pain, too little of one fueling too much of the other.

So I began an inward journey (which coincided with the subway ride home, on the F train I didn’t have to wait too long for), considering the places I’ve been, the people I’ve met, the sights I’ve seen, and the versions of myself I’ve left in each place – carbon copy prints that still roam the streets of cities I’ve loved. When I find myself missing a city or town, I’m forced to question what it is I truly miss – sweet smells, damp air, breathtaking sights – or something less tangible?

Often, its an ache for someone that I used to be, someone who existed in one of these places, saw things through fresh eyes, and experienced moments before they were memories. I am keeping this blog to communicate with these former-selves, growing from things I’ve seen years ago and teaching those other-mes about the life I have in front of me. An intercontinental chain of letters to an existential pen-pal, sent Par Avion.

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Published in: on 12 December, 2007 at 5:29 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. I am sentimental to a fault, embrace nostalgia and everything it stands for, and harbor as many romantic notions as the next gal, if not […]


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