Saturday, 25 February 2012

Home without a home

I'm hours away from returning to my hometown, but for the first time in my life, for the first time in the 23 years I've been living away, there is no family home awaiting me. It's been sold, and if I'd been in a position to buy it, I'd have considered it seriously. I can't explain how strange it's felt throughout my journey, making my familiar trip but without the familiar destination.

Having missed the downstate bus by three minutes, I have almost four hours to wait for the next one. I used to wait it out in the dreadfully overlit and uncomfortable bus center, but at some point I ventured into the O'Hare airport Hilton en route and found their sports bar. I'm no fan of sports bars, but here they make a decadent Caesar salad and have Sam Adams on draft, not to mention the free wifi. It gives me my first chance to blog (read breathe) in weeks.

I'm only in my hometown for three nights and two packed days before heading to Chicago for the AWP conference. I've fit in a little poetry, though; my nephew Brandon has arranged for me to speak to Olympia Middle School's eighth grade on Monday morning. I'll read a little poetry and fiction and answer the students' questions. I suppose that's to say there'll be small space for mourning, though already I feel I'm teeming with that and so much else.


  1. Hi Carrie, came to your blog looking for Neruda's book of questions and found this sensitive post which I read with much sensitivity...

  2. Anonymous9:24 pm

    "making my familiar trip but without the familiar destination" : how these words ring true to me - the "homely" familiarity of the return turned suddenly almost hostile and strange. It's a very odd sensation both physically and emotionally. I do hope you take comfort from speaking to the eighth Graders and that you also manage to enjoy Chicago and AWP - both of which I know usually inspire and energise you greatly. May they act as a bridge to carry you across this tricky terrain of displacement and somehow enable you to place a foot on firmer ground. My love and thoughts are with you. Helen P xx

  3. Hello Carrie! My first visit, will visit you again. Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Congrats for your work. If you wish to follow back that would be great I'm at
    Thanks for sharing!