Thursday, March 02, 2006

Leaving Home

I have met several people recently who share a common story: they want to distance themselves from their hometown as much as possible. All three are different ages--one is in his 30s; one is 60; and one is 74. They couldn't wait to get away from their homes, to escape their parents, to put behind them all reminders of a life that had somehow hurt or trapped or reflected unwanted images they no longer want in their lives.

The curious thing is that each of these people--who don't know each other and who come from three different (but somewhat small) towns--also has a sense of incongruence about them; what I would call a "plastic presentation," where the face presented to the world is meant to be charming and admired, but in reality the person seems disconnected from their core, somehow, and unable to create for themselves a sense of okayness and groundedness in life.

I'm wondering whether that rejection of "home" is a disowning of some of our latent wisdom, a sense of knowing and accepting ourselves as we are, that grows from those early seeds. It feels to me that all three people don't have access to some important resources, and they walk through life stiff and a bit artificial, as though their walk is never their own and what they really feel inside is a mystery to what they're thinking and showing on their faces.