Musings Delirious

Posted by GailSidonieSobat on April 24, 2016 in General Blabbity Blab |

sebilj-sarajevoI’ve been abroad.

No, not a broad (though some would argue).

But visiting the continent.  You know the one.  Over the pond.

But not northern Europe.  Kind of east or East, though that should only be admitted in a whisper, so I’ve read. I’ve been to the Balkans, though I shouldn’t call them that anymore.  Neither should I refer to these small countries as Yugoslavia.  Some would say I wasn’t really in Europe, at least not all of the time.  In short, I’ve been to Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia Herzogovina and briefly, to Montenegro.  I went to explore these places as research for my novel.  But also research into my family.  It’s a complicated story, my family’s – probably true of anyone’s.  And also of the now divided independent nations that were formerly Yugoslavia.

Independence has come at a cost, as it does. I was deeply moved by the people I met and the streets I walked, including those–concrete structures and human lives–still bearing the scars of the ugliness of the 1990s conflicts.

More on this in another blog or the novel or both.

Today, I am home.  It’s a queer feeling, that of post-travel.  Perhaps I should simply accept that this is jet lag.  But it seems something more.  I feel as if I’ve walked through some of the pages of a Calvino novel and come home to find my own world somewhat askew.  I am, of course, different than the person who left home several weeks ago.  I didn’t do terribly touristy things, and yet I was but a short-stay visitor. As such, as a non-resident, I traversed paths and got lost and tasted delights and climbed ladders into dimensions differing from my own.  What did I learn?

More on this in another blog or the novel or both.

I can say that I have only begun to scratch the surface of understanding anything more about my people, my relatives, my relation to this world, the conflict that shredded so many lives in former Yugoslavia of the 1990s. I see a glimmer through that door, and that one over there, and that next on the left.  Perhaps that’s all we ever get to glimpse.

It is always good to return home, if one is lucky enough to have one, to touch the familiar, understand the language and all the myriad social cues we take so for granted.  I have emerged from several invisible cities (and one minuscule village) delirious.

And that has made all the difference.


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