Another river, another nation. And again the melancholy returns. What is this?
In Mexico it became clear to me I needed grounding, and that's what I sought in San Miguel. Now I have a home awaiting me in Floyd and here I am in Canada, Niagara Falls pounding relentlessly behind me, feeling as though my umbilical cord has been stretched beyond limit, about to snap at the slightest twinge.
I guess I have grounding now. This is new. Thirty-four years in Australia and I never felt at home, never had anywhere special to be, to live. My hometown of Perth is a distant oasis; Melbourne never let me in; Brisbane belongs to Robyn; and The Channon was a learning curve, a curve connecting that to this, then to now.
Tiff says Australia is not a kind place. She has a point. There is a rough edge about the country that we are proud of, a toughness that helps define us. And the longer I stay here, the softer I get; and the softer I get, the less I get that.
But, I hear you say, with over 10,000 homicides a year and the western world's highest incarceration and capital punishment rates, not to mention its self-appointed role as international policeman, the US is hardly the kindest place in the world, either. Granted. And still, the Australian harshness is inescapable; it is in the climate and the deserts and the outback. It is in the very reasons the British sent convicts there in the first place, and it is in the heritage of those times.
The American harshness is more cultural than environmental. It is in the stories of the Wild West, of Cowboys and Indians, and of every-man-for-himself Capitalism. These are just stories, and can be ignored. It is much harder to ignore drought and heat and flies and snakes and endless desert.
And still, having said all this, it is but a coincidence that I found a need for grounding while on this continent. Further coincidence still that I should meet E here, that I should find the one thing I had been seeking so long.
I do not believe in coincidence.