So even though this blog is about the second half of the book, I can't help but try to think about what Gilbert accomplished. 'One woman's search for everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia", this is the subtitle for the book. Since we started the book, last week it has bothered be to no end that Gilbert had te nerve to put 'everything' in that little subtitle (even though her editors may have shoved it in there after the fact) still it is quite the claim that the purpose of her trip, especally in retrospect was a search for everything. Now, because of the nature of this book, and how introspective Gilbert was in her own thought I feel as though I have free liscence to be as wildly abstarct as I desire in how to apply the general theme of a 'homeland' to her writing.
It would proably be easier to explain my state of mind first, while reading the story so that when it is applied to the text it will make more sense. I got home on Wednesday night, at about midnight. My mother trudged downstairs to greet me and then crawled back into bed leaving me to talk with my sister. My sister is really my cousin, but she lived with me while I was growing up until she was eighteen and moved back with her mother so we are as close as siblings get; plus she looks and acts more like me than anybody in my family, or perrhaps I look and act like her either way. This is the first time I have seen her in my house in four years, and the next morning was the first time she, my brother and I have all been together at home since I was twelve or thirteem I can't remember.
Saturday my brother came in to wake me up, quite rudely actually as I was a bit underthe weather both from a cold and from my friday night escapade but it was the wildest thing to feel like I was young again. My whole family was back inthe house, my grandmother, my father, mother, brother, and sister and I all together, and I don't think I have ever felt so nostalgic in my life as when I walked downstairs to breakfast (lunch by this point).
I did the rounds, visited my friends, called who needed to be called so i wouldn't be burned at the stake for coming home and 'ignoring' somebody and te more I thought about it the more I realized that this place, this house, these people ALL of it had changed with time. My memories didn't match up anymore. My sister is 27 now, my brother is 23, we aren't kids anymore. Our house needs a face lift in most areas and has gotten one in others. The carpets I laid on are gone, or old. None of the couches I slept on when I stayed home from school sick are there. Yet it still feels like home.
I have come to the conclusion, from my experience home that I need to draw a very very vague distinction between feeling comfort and being at home. When I am at home, it reminds me of a time when I had a real home, when I lived in a real home, when my family was all home. It is quite possible, and more likely than not probable that home for me is more of a time and a place than either one separated. I know I had balance then, and I suppose for some time I will find out if I need to go back, or if I can reinstate that balance somewhere else. Comfort, comfort is feeling balanced or content for a time. I'm not saying one cannot be at home anywhere, I am just saying that especially after what Gilbert had to go thorugh to achieve balance that 1) it is not easy to come by and 2)when you really find it, you can in fact carry that feeling of home with you (ideally anyway)
About Liz, "I was the administrator of my own rescue" Continuing in the complete abstraction of the idea of a home, I think Liz's idea of balance , her spiritual journey, and her journeyto discover a connection tih God all bring her inside herself. Maybe balance, maybe complete self control, awareness, and fulfillment are the qualities of home, and finding those qualities in ones self is teh way to be able to carry a hhome with you. Feeiling at home, and being at home are certainly different things and I think Gilbert's idea of balance is the way in which someone can feel at home no matter where they are. This is significant to me, personally because I do tihnk that a homeland, in all thjat we have read and I have experienced to some degree is an ieal that lives in the past.