Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Strangers All - 'This place ...'

Come what may, sooner or later under the influence of our 'becoming' Massumi, B and Bergson, H rather than 'being' eventually we are removed from 'known' others and places. Strangers in a strange land. Strangers to one another. I assert this deliberately, while instinctively my spirit seeks to dodge the notion. Even so, if you have read my earlier posts, you will know that I do not intend for this direction of thought to imply that the human condition as it articulates for each of us or in the collective sense, is either melodramatic or depressing.

The manifestation of 'Leaving' then, as an action, ostensibly subsumed into the norm of any given day of activity becomes essentially, an occurrence of significance. An event in itself. Rather than happenstance 'Leaving' emerges as a force to be reckoned with, which possesses the capability to modify our perceptions and our behaviours with others.

'Leaving' will make Strangers of us all. It is easy for the spirit to rebel at such an assertion. I am aware myself, since I have lived a somewhat diasporic existence moving to the other side of the world to 'make a life', that despite this upheaval (the process is no small thing) I have people 'back home'; family and friends, who I like to think will never make of me a stranger, (The old adage holds true: 'Home is where, when you go there, they have to take you in'), the kinds of people who you may not physically see for literally, years and years and yet when you do meet again, a core of recognition, of acknowledgement, an empathy emerges to celebrate that connection that between us we possess, but which has lain dormant for a time. We talk of friendships made in our formative years, which will always exist for us, come what may and frequently, so they do. I like to think that this condition will always prevail, indeed, without being overtly optimistic, I am sure that it will.

A natural extension exists here of course; that over the twenty odd years that I have lived here, in New Zealand Aotearoa, I have partnered in relationships with friends and family that equally, would exist in the same way if I were to decide to no longer live in this place. So we continually invest in our makeup, in the way that we conduct our lives, an energy and concentrated intent which ensures that some at least, of our connections with others are not entirely ephemeral. We derive strength from this knowledge to enable to us to continue on and most of us know the feeling when we are leaving on a journey, that no matter how fare we may go, if we have someone who awaits our return, or at least, is conscious that we are gone, this may in itself assist in the empowering process to leave. As we are inexorably drawn away from one another, we are also drawn to and back to each other - and away from each other again.

I used the words, 'in this place' in the paragraph above. We tend to harbour and gather to us those qualities which combine to shore up those spaces we term as places; emotions, objects and connections with people which assist us in sustaining the feeling that we are grounded in one place, together with a certain sub-set of humanity which has been arrived at through choice. We like to think that we choose our friends (although not necessarily our families).

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