Nostalgic (and false) alternative*:
To put down roots, to rediscover or fashion your roots, to carve the place that will be yours out of space, and build, plant, appropriate, millimetre by millimetre, your ‘home’: to belong completely in your village, knowing you’re a true inhabitant of the Cévennes, or of Poitou.
Or else to own only the clothes you stand up in, to keep nothing, to live in hotels and change them frequently, and change towns, and change countries; to speak and read any one of four or five languages; to feel at home nowhere, but at ease almost everywhere.
Georges Perec, Species of Spaces (1974)
* To a previous section about the supposed utopian, idyllic lifestyle of living in a French village.
I’ve noted before that this blog now has so much content it’s able to keep on rolling along without me, and more or less regardless of whether I post anything or not. I’m always conscious, though, of when I’ve left a considerable gap. Throughout September and October I’ve been working and travelling, travelling to work, doing what I’ll call for lack of a better term my day job, which is being an artist, performer and writer. Some bloggers would turn this into a huge quantity of filler for their site, but personally I prefer to be present and really live it instead of always seeing and doing everything with “I’m blogging this” glasses on.
Which is a long-winded way of saying that this quote from the book I had with me during this peripatetic period will suffice as an explanation of where I’ve been. It serendipitously summed up what my life has been like over the past ten years, and especially this autumn. Far from being nostalgic or false, the second paragraph quoted here is me, absolutely. Even the four or five languages part, I’m afraid. It’s not as cool as it might sound– in fact it can take a huge toll on your relationships and your health, but it’s true nonetheless. My book Career Suicide covers this kind of stuff in much more detail, if you’re at all interested.