“Perspective of Home”
Traveling is respite from the system that has borne me: America.
Listening to compatriots’ downtalk,
My perspective manifests,
But after too many self-righteous down-talks,
Love of home fights back.
Listening to foreigners,
Hearing their criticisms and longing,
It’s like listening to your family’s opinion on your home
Then looking inside yourself from the windows without.
Criticisms from my compatriots and from non-Americans alike morph my perspective. They have insight and truth.
Yet now, its hard to say what morphs my perspective on America more: the critiques from within & without, or the dreams I hear of Bosnians to live there?
I like to get out of my country. But the more time I spend out of my country, the more my heart for America pops up its head. You know how it is, you always want to be fixing up your house and renovating; you take some covetous looks at other domiciles from time to time, and consider moving. But when it comes down to it, falling-apart junk heap with dysfunctional family members in it and all, it pours shivers down your skin to think of one’s real home being harmed.
So being with better-educated fellow nationals in Bosnia changes my perspective on the US. But underneath (or wrapped up in?) perspective is the undertow of feeling, and… absence is making my heart grow fonder.
Sometimes I don’t understand the divorce between American tourists’ down-talk of America and our identity as American tourists.
“And above all, it is your civilization, it is you. However much you hate it or laugh at it, you will never be happy away from it for any length of time. The suet puddings and the red pillarboxes have entered into your soul. Good or evil, it is yours, you belong to it, and this side of the grave you will never get away from the marks that it has given you.”
– George Orwell, on one’s home nation – in his case, Britain, 1946