Since Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, is there anyone who does not, in some way feel like an exile? We feel ejected from our first homes and landscapes, from our first romance, from our authentic self. An ideal sense of belonging, of attuning with others and ourselves, eludes us. Exile was always considered one of the worst punishments possible because people's identities were defined by their role and place in society. In recent years, however, we have come to value in our culture those qualities of experience that exile brings--uncertainty, displacement, fragmented identity. Post-modern nomads consider home mostly as a site of narrow-mindedness and nationalism. Now exile is sexy and glamorous. But it comes at enormous cost.
I wonder if in this world of easy come, easy go, of sliding among places and meanings without alighting on them for very long, we don't lose internal focus. We risk being overwhelmed by what Milan Kundera calls "the unbearable lightness of being". It is the illness that comes to un-anchored people, those who travel perpetually to new moments and sensations and to whom no internal feeling is more important than another.
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"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."