Friday, June 22, 2018

magnetic pull of place

Thomas WolfeYou Can't Go Home Again “But why had he always felt so strongly the magnetic pull of home, why had he thought so much about it and remembered it with such blazing accuracy, if it did not matter,..."
I've heard the phrase "you can't go home again" for years. I was aware that it was the title of a book by Thomas Wolfe, but I also thought it was a platitude or folk saying that explained away changing times and places.
I made a trip to my childhood home recently and found many things that I had loved to be unchanged. I grew up in the Philippines, lived there for my first 18 years until I finished high school and went off to the United States for college. Something in me remains critically attached to the places, sights, smells, and flavors of this lovely country.
My Baptist missionary parents travelled with me as an infant to Manila in the 1950s. Politically the country was recovering from war, occupation by the Japanese forces, liberation by the American forces, and finally an independent government. My parents saw so much as they lived there for forty years. Their informed outlook and love for the Filipinos was influential in my life as well.