Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My Sentiments Exactly

Excerpt from Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes (author of Under The Tuscan Sun):

"...I've begun to descend into what I've come to call traveller's melancholy, a profound displacement that occasionally seizes me for a few hours when I am in a foreign country. The pleasure of being the observer suddenly flips over into a disembodied anxiety. During its grip, I go silent. I dwell on the fact that most of those I love have no idea where I am and my absence among them is unremarkable; they continue their days indifferent to the lack of my presence. Then an immense longing for home comes over me. I imagine my bed with a stack of books - probably travel books - on the table, the combed afternoon sunlight coming through the curved windows, my cat Sister leaping up with her claws catching the yellow blanket. Why am I here where I don't belong? What is this alien place? I feel I'm in a strange afterlife, a haint blowing with the winds. I suspect the subtext to this displacement is the dread of death. Who and where are you when you are no one?"

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