Wednesday December 16th
This is not Home (Writing Night)
- For our prompt tonight, we were each randomly teleported to a location, and we were to write on it. Here was my location (courtesy Google Maps).
- Tonight our prompt involved being dropped into a random space, and we could write based on that prompt. Somehow, I ended up in Miðfjarðarvegur, Iceland (see photo courtesy Google Maps), a place that I have never visited.
- Somehow, though, at this exact spot, looks very much like home. Specifically, it looks like the very view I experience when I turn on the ramp off the highway to head to the road that leads to my childhood home. I’m struck by the eeriness of this location, and of my memory, especially living so far away in Vermont (which is in another country). It’s almost like this has triangulated my memory, my current existence, and a future that I couldn’t imagine before.
- There are no people in the photograph, and no signs of habitation, except in the distance. In my home country, many of these houses in these places would be by squatters or for government-assisted living areas in parts of suburbia or more rural areas. The lack of houses, however, makes the scene more believable as the place I called home, because the Architecture of this region would expose that it isn’t the location drawn from my memory.
- This photo could as well have been taken on a stormy day in my home country. The hills remind me of those that I left behind, representing the Central Range. I imagine that the air would be less humid and would be dryer than what I expect. The view is desolate. The soil is similar to the kind I would encounter in that area of my home country, but perhaps it would be more clayey, as clayey soil is prevalent in that part of the country; the grass and the lake would be rice swamps, as rice, corn and sugarcane is grown in those areas.
- As I move forward, I see a white blob of an object, and I expect it to be a cow. Growing up, on the way to school, there would be cattle crossing the street. Even though our house is in a fairly developed area, when I was growing up this wasn’t the case. My parents told stories of moving into a fairly open plot of land, where there were no houses, and once they began building a home, there were creatures like leeches and earthworms that would show up, and the sight of cattle would be quite common. In one story, my parents said that my brother had found a small garden snake in the shower.
- Furthermore, it was not uncommon to sit behind a tractor or a cart being pulled by a donkey on the ramp that led to the highway, on the way to school. When I think about the American tractors, they look like Transformers. They are more robots or mechas than they are vehicles used to farm or till the land. The tractors we grew up with were simple, often drove along the roads and fit in the single lanes of traffic, just as cars did.
- As I scroll South, I see a vehicle that reminds me of my childhood vehicle; a Datsun. The classic family car. It was a beloved vehicle from which we saw movies at the local drive-in (the two I remember are Dick Tracy with Madonna and Super Mario Bros, which we both saw in the Drive In Cinema), along with our cousins. It was useful for carrying lumber. It was useful for lying low and skirting the law regarding the number of persons in a vehicle for a day at the beach, and for carrying our family pet to the vet.
- Seeing this location brings me joy, but it is bittersweet. It reminds me that the memories I have of growing up and of the location I grew up will not be the same, as this photo is a snapshot of a location that will change, too. It reminds me of the happy childhood I had, and the longing for visiting home. This photo isn’t my home, but it is able to resonate with me and makes me think deeply about all the things that are so heartwarming about the place I grew up. I cannot make a vow to the place, but to the memory, my impression of the place as I knew it.
And that’s it
Written on December 16, 2020