Sometimes you’re lucky enough to read the right thing at the right time.

I was reading this gigantic history book in the bookstore yesterday. It renewed my understanding and perspective. Europe was just a transient kind of a place where numerous tribes wandered all over the place - like on the fringes of the Roman empire, there were these nomadic tribes bumping into each other and warring and forming alliances and trying to settle but getting run off this spot and that spot and so on. Nobody could claim any spot for very long - and finally Alaric and his Visigoth people stormed Rome and kicked the Romans' asses all over Rome.

* * *

I still do not feel at home here in Florida. I have been here a year now. With all the people down here complaining about transplants (newly arrived people like me) and all the people talking about old Florida and all the people complaining about restructuring districts or whatever to make voting a little more fair and all the dudes in huge trucks with their rebel flags, and with all people who won’t even talk to you or look you in the eye if they think you’re new . . . I don’t know (you just want to scream at these people, "Hey asshole, do you realize the population of this planet is growing faster than they can even calculate it? So you gotta make room whether you want to or not!"). These people can’t hold their land. So many of these ranchers down here are selling off and moving away - they just can’t compete with the mighty developer dollar. And I know for a fact that this ‘right’ that they think they have - this ‘right’ that they think I do not have - to be here, it’s all bogus. Bogus in a big way. (Before I started reading the European history book I was reading a book about native Americans, so don't even - I won't even . . . )

I guess the best I can do is to just try to feel at home in my own skin. Even that is difficult sometimes. But if I can’t feel at home, I can at least feel like I am progressing... progressing toward condition where I got a head full of knowledge - and I can zap people with factiods if they try to tell me somethin about somethin . . . and that is not even the reason I stuff my head full of everything I can - and I don’t even think I gorge on knowledge for knowledge’s sake or for gorging’s sake - I do it because I am compelled to do it by some force I can not understand - and that’s okay with me.


Pernicious said...

I think I know what you’re saying, but I think it goes deeper than the people. I think it is the spirit of the place. Having visited Florida for extended visits on numerous occasions, I can say I never really understood Florida. Everything about it seemed kind of off. How do I describe it? To me the state of Florida felt like some sort of touristy store. You know, the ones that sell shark’s teeth, key chains, beaded necklaces, wind chimes, and other bric-a-brak. Its funny, it wasn’t like this feeling related to a particular place in Florida, the whole state felt this way to me even when I was hiking out in nature. A weird hollowness just follows you around; an inability to meaningfully connect with anyone or anything. Maybe it’s the heat, the limestone, the ocean. I don’t know. It is infectious, devious and disturbing.

Cindy-Lou said...

Maybe it's not Florida, exactly, but just some place that's not home. I moved in February and I'm starting to feel like I will never settle in.

The Mighty Kat said...

nice notion, getting your perspective through the big picture of history. yup, yup to your points, thanks for the reminder.

you can, and will, complain about anyplace, but florida sucks, dude.