Thursday, 1 January 2009

Gilded Cage

I'm back in my home town, and I discover that it is someone else's home town. Tauranga elicits in me an overwhelming sense of deja vu. There is little that reflects me here; this town is not my home.

Years ago, I took a ride on the road I grew up. Turning off the highway I saw the school, with its lush playground and weatherboard classrooms, and pulled in. I was immediately struck by the smallness of it. I still remember the Lilliputian sensation of towering over these remembered places, almost as if I were looking through a fisheye lens, not knowing whether to trust my gaze or my memories.

They say that after travelling, when you come home you see the place for the first time. I couldn't say whether seeing the world changed my perspective, or that the time away allowed me to release my entrenched ideas about Tauranga. Whichever is true--probably both--I feel more than a usual urge to escape.

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