High above earth, sailing through the skies, the clouds below look an awful lot like storm-tossed seas.
I am en route to Tokyo, approaching Narita Airport.
What defines “home?” I’ve lived in San Francisco for nearly 30 years. My heart has been broken, tested, mended, and restored here more times than I can count. You would think that score alone would add up to home.
I’m not usually susceptible to emotional kitsch. At least, I don’t think so. I certainly believe myself above nostalgia, a true citizen of a global world, unfettered by borders and national identity, my love and hope flinging itself out into a universe so infinite and vast with possibility that we might all someday live cheek to jowl with all our differences, harmoniously and all the better for them.
But, here I am, headed for a land I’ve not returned to in nearly 30 years, as long as I’ve lived in San Francisco. Returning to the source of my first language, back to a lost language I sometimes speak in my dreams. I wake, more often than not, with no idea what I was dreaming about.
Somewhere deep inside and far away, a voice whispers, “You are Going Home.” And, before it can all re-coagulate into a hardened mass of emotional muscle, I feel myself exhale waves of tension and rigidity.
As usual, I am traveling light. A small suitcase and a handbag (albeit one that cost an obscene amount of money…). I like to leave my baggage, all of it, metaphorical and otherwise, at home – wherever that might be at any given moment.