Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Homeward Bound . . .

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After paddling for what seemed like an eternity, my little green boat finally pulled into a port on the coast of France, la belle France, early yesterday morning, and I breathed a hearty "home, sweet home". . . After three weeks of travelling it was good to be back.
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There is something fine about coming home, real honestly good; for home is indeed where the heart is. Though I admit strange pangs of emotion were haunting me as the shores of that other country, the place of my birth (and youthful mirth) slid out of sight in the night, fading into the black distance, punctuated by the crying gulls. We exiles sometimes feel acutely the spaces between two realms, the distances and differences that separate them, the knowledge that the place one leaves behind can never be seen in the same light again, ever. But such is the price of our choice to travel, our choice to change profoundly, to throw every minute aspect of one's life into question, to continue to question in ways one never would have otherwise.
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Home again. Home also to a comfortable chair in front of this familiar machine, this lantern which with a little coaxing and coercing will continue once again to shine with magical lights, like the phosphorescent seaweeds which gleamed in the moonlight out on the waves we hastened over all the past night of sailing on a small green boat . . . going home.
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46 comments:

The Pliers said...

Well, shiver me timbers, Matey! It pays to get up at 5am when there are reflections like these to be encountered upon the cyberwaters.

Welcome back! It goes without saying that you've been sorely missed. Autumn is in full swing in France and other wanderers have come in from the road and are holding tickets to roll back out. Ebb and flow...

I hope that you have a lovely reunion with the heart and soul of home.

Owen said...

Dearest Pliers, you do indeed get the early bird award today ! My goodness, you're just getting up, and I'm off to bed, not to rise before noon...

And I've missed you too ! Have missed the entire blogosphere. Travelling and blogging are not always compatible... and I was travelling light, just my camera and my eyes and my legs to get around on...

Wonderful to hear from you, will be around soon to see what mischief you've been up too... but now it's time for bed...

Night, night...
:-)

Susan said...

Re: "Please ask for permission if you wish to use something."

Can I use your sense of adventure? Mine seems to be rusty.

James said...

Welcome back to Blog Land!

extremely well said my friend! I can relate but perhaps on a smaller level. I've been thousands of miles away from my starting place for almost four years now. Although still in the same country for now.

I like the colorful old boat inside and outside and I look forward to lots more of your photos.

That is the Delaware River in my photos. If you enlarge the photos and look at the top of the river's curve you'll see the New Hope/Lambertville bridge

I took the shots from Bowman's Hill Tower.

Stickup Artist said...

I have missed you and am selfishly glad you will be blogging soon and shining with your warm magic light. Glad you had a safe return home!

Steve said...

Welcome back, Owen. The Bloggosphere is suddenly a colourful place now that you are back home again!

nathalie in avignon said...

Welcome home Owen, it's good to have you back! Aaaah the vast question of where home is when you've got a foot in each country - a question worth exploring in its many aspects as we share those few bottles of wine along with baguette, cheese and that wonderful fruit platter of mine.

Thank you so much for your visit at this early hour. I feel priviledged.

:: Karine :: said...

ça y est tu es de retour owen adoré !
c'est pas trop tôt :-)
tu manques à beaucoup de monde tu sais ...

tes photos sont magnifiques et la troisième est l'emblème de ce message : retour à la maison, amarrage à quai, retrouvailles et bonheur !

bon retour l'ami voyageur

Roxana said...

and he's back!!!

:-)

with wonderfully coloured pictures and rich pondering about 'exile', in-betweenness, how can one not come back to the Magic Show, again and again?!

...louciao... said...

Though travelling light, I can only hope that you had your runcible spoon with you.

French Fancy... said...

Welcome home, Owen - back to France. It must have been difficult to leave the country you grew up in. Me - I am back in the land of my birth now and am delighted to be there - but still looking forward to being back in France for a week or so very soon.

Gwen Buchanan said...

I'm glad your boat was safer than the Scallop-dragger that went down on our St. Martins shore.. the tide came in and the tide went out and still after a week only part of its sideways hull protrudes from the waves..
take care..

lgsquirrel said...

"Little green boat"? Surely you jest. You're pulling my leg, aren't you? Still, no matter how you did it, welcome home and to blogland.

Loulou said...

Bon retour Owen ! Que d'émotions, de non dits à travers ces quelques lignes, et puis ces bateaux, ces textures, comme on aime. Te souviens de ma série de filets de pêche, pour le plaisir ? Tes photos leur font écho !
Bon retour, en douceur je te le souhaite
A très bientôt
Bises à vous tous

Loulou

Karine A. said...

j'aime beaucoup cette série, qu'on pourrait presque appeler " le retour du bateau vert" , non?
En attendant, c'est le retour du gentil Oween avec ses mots magiques et ses regards d'enfant sur les siècles. On s'en félicite....

TechnoBabe said...

Sometimes it is good for the soul to go home for a visit.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Owen, so glad to see you back to blogging, having landed your little green boat safely ashore! Hope to see many photos and read the stories of your travels.

I will look forward to meeting up with you at Nathalie's for a little party. (wink)

Genie

ρομπερτ said...

Living about 3,000 miles from home, surely a heart felt entry of yours.
Life feels better, knowing you're back (home).

Please have a good Thursday.

daily athens

Owen said...

Hi Susan, of course you are more than welcome to borrow my sense of adventure for a while, now that I'm back to work it would just be hanging in the closet here anyway. Just be careful, it could get you into some places you might not quite have bargained for... the other day for inexplicable reasons I climbed the entire length of a coal conveyor at an abandoned coal plant, going from ground level up to the 11th floor over several hundred yards... it was pretty hairy and scary up there, hoping the structure hadn't rusted too much, but exhilarating nevertheless... happy hunting !

Owen said...

Hi James, I guess any movement of a few thousand miles is a big change, within borders of a country or otherwise...

Your fall photos there are truly lovely, I'm still marvelling at just how beautiful all of upstate Pennsylvania I wandered through was. A real pleasure to visit towns like Williamsport and Wellsboro, Lockhaven and Ridgway... Well worth the detours if you have the time and inclination... Can't believe all the lovely old houses, some of which were on sale for not alot of money. Anyway, keep those fall treasures coming...

Owen said...

Hi Stickup ! Ah you selfish girl you... :-)

Just for that I may continue to post a few more photos... if you continue to flatter me like that...

Really love the Queen of pie photo you touched up a little there... I was slobbering...
:-)

Nevine said...

Oh, Owen! How familiar to my soul are your words on "exiles". I have been living that life for... all of my life? In fact, I don't even know where home is, anymore. Well, yes I do. Except I don't live at HOME. Strange, the ways of this life, aren't they?

So refreshing to see you again... and to see the lovely photos you share... so colorful and full of life... though always filled with their own pain and solitude... in their own OWEN kind of way, if you know what I mean.

Welcome HOME!

Nevine

Owen said...

Hey Steve,
What, had the blogosphere gone to shades of gray or even black and white while I was away ??? Did the colors all follow me the the USA for three weeks ? Between you and Stickup there, I'm going to start getting an inflated ego if you keep that up... but heck, go ahead, it's alright...
:-)

Hope your barbarians have gone back to their caves, and cleared out of Leamington...

Owen said...

Hi Nathalie, a real pleasure to be back... and looking forward to the fruit tasting. Funny, while waiting to catch the flight out of Philadelphia, I met a young lady from Australia, who had gone to the same girls school in Brisbane at which my daughter spent five weeks last year on exchange... small world ! And always a pleasure to stop by Avignon in Photos, whatever the hour !

Owen said...

Bonjour ::Karine:: ! Quel plaisir de te lire ici; et oui, le retour et les retrouvailles étaient splendides, il n'y a rien comme les sourires de ces filles qui m'attendaient, et les miaulements de nos chats, et le confort d'un lit qui est le mien... dans une chambre tranquille, remplie d'objets familiers... Oui, un bien fou de rentrer après le voyage...

En esperant qu'un de ces quatre on aura l'occasion de se croiser lors d'un déplacement vers Paris, ou nous vers le grand nord... J'ai tant de questions sur tes images... à bientôt...

Owen said...

Dear Roxana... et oui, he's back... at last. it was time to get home. Very good to see la grenouille and the girls after three weeks away... very very good...

A good friend of ours was in Japan last week, and brought la grenouille back a beautiful little round box of tea... she was thrilled. So happy to hear you here... and it was simply lovely to return to the floating bridge after all these days away... I missed you...

Owen said...

Dearest Runcible Goose,
I also had my runcible hat and a runcible cat, a runcible fork and runcible bat... hadn't thought of eating quinces, but in fact a very nice idea that...

So lovely to be back in a familiar house... and now am off for my beauty sleep, but couldn't resist answering just one last runcible remark from the source of lynnespiration... wish me sweet dreams...
:-)

Alberto Oliver said...

Welcome back "home" dear friend Owen, the blogworld was really missing one of its most important gears, that keeps in proper function and equilibrium its 24/7 activity of being the place for magic lanterns to light with magical lights, as you properly said in your nostalgic and moving introduction. Oh travelers and pilgrims who have decided to make the whole world the stage of their lives , but that despite it all still keep that special place in their hearts for that little corner named home. Welcome back home Owen, if possible to make such an statement since we all share this world and this century. Ok,,let´s that magic lantern to resume the show...

Regards my friend and keep well ;)

Deborah said...

Glad to see you back, Owen. When you write of your travelling, it's as if you're in a film, with the camera fixed on you, standing apart from the crowd. I like to think that if our paths crossed in a big-city train station somewhere, I'd recognize you instantly. You're an original.

Sar@h said...

Quand un bateau vert ou un rouge disparaissent, un autre revient …

Catherine said...

welcome back - home is now also the blogosphere right?? Greetings from Mexico...

Owen said...

Hi FF, so you really are back in Britain now, and out of Brittany ? Hope all went well with the transition. At this point I really can't imagine actually moving back to where I came from, but who knows... there are still some lovely places to see in the USA, if you can see around the large pickup trucks...

Owen said...

Hi Gwen, I hope the scallop dragger crew got back to shore safely, even if their boat did not ? I guess many wrecks line those coasts ? According to this website there are quite a few around Nova Scotia :

http://nswrecks.net/index.htm

Owen said...

Dear LGS, It is hard to pull a squirrel's leg, as you are so hard to catch, but you may rest assured, my means of transport on that particular voyage were only figuratively a small vessel with peeling green paint... I couldn't have made the trip in the little over six hours it actually took in that tiny boat, which would've taken more like six weeks at best, if not more... And honestly, I wouldn't fancy six weeks at sea in a tiny boat like that...

I did see some of your cousins in Pennsylvania, fat, grey, cheeky things that they were ! Even a couple stretched out in the street, the worse for their encounters with automobiles...

Owen said...

Bonjour Loulou !
Bien sûr je n'ai pas oublié tes filets, et autres images plages et mer... qui pourrait oublier tes images??? Impossible... en tout cas, impossible pour moi. Et merci bcp pour ces pensées, j'aurais bien aimé que le retour se fasse en douceur, mais en fait c'était plutot en douche froide glacée de reveil au boulout... après trois semaines d'absence, ce n'est pas evident à reprendre. Mais bon, on s'y fait. Gros bisoux à toi et toute la famille... Ca fait bien plaisir de voir ce petit mot...

Owen said...

Salut Karine (A.),
Trop gentille, toi ! Vraiment, trop sympa ce message. J'ai vu quelques amis artiste aux US ces derniers jours, c'est un réel plaisir de voir des tableaux en chair et os bien faits. J'espère un jour avoir l'occasion de voir quelques uns des tiens... je pense toujours aux zèbres. Habitent-ils toujours chez toi ? Il faut que je passe voir ce que tu faisait sur le blog ce dernier temps, j'étais quasiment completement déconnecté... Merci Karine !

Owen said...

Techno B... too true, too true...

Owen said...

Genie, thanks so much, it is good to be back home, and able to get back to the blogs a little, though the return to work is a challenge too. Indeed, will look forward to a bit of a picnic with Nathalie ! Those fruits certainly were tempting !

Owen said...

Robert, I guess you too know a thing or two about living in an adopted country, adapting to totally different ways of seeing and living... I wish you many pleasures in the land of a thousand islands...

Owen said...

Ah Nevine, always, always, whenever your fingers get to typing, you write enchantingly. How I would love to hear your voice reading the words you've written... Perhaps one day Blogger will facilitate the possibility of leaving a voice message for a comment, rather than a typed message. But for now I can only imagine your voice draped in Egyptian sunshine and silks, honey and incense... Nefertiti's daughter... be well Nevine, et merci...

Owen said...

Hi Alberto O., a great pleasure to find that even after three weeks of near total disconnection from the sphere of blogs, a few faithful friends are still there, with a kind word and kind thoughts, visible in this space. A real pleasure indeed. Just read your sobering piece about the battle of the gods, am hoping we are not destined to play that scenario out in the immediate future. Best not to anger the gods in any case...

Take care and happy travelling...

Owen said...

Hi Deborah ! If you were to run into me near a train station, I'd probably be the guy photographing the old rusty train wagons out on the railyard behind the station... pretty easy to spot I guess. Well, I hope I do run into in a train station or airport or wherever one of these days, I rather suspect you are a fine conversationalist, and I'd love to hear your stories of going to Glacier and then Greece this summer... you sure get around ! A fast woman, one might say !
:-)

Owen said...

Bonjour Sarah ! Surement, il doit y avoir une loi dans ce sens... celui-ci était près d'Aber W'rach, nom que j'ai du mal à prononcer sans faire des grimaces pas possibles...
:-)

C'était au même endroit que les cailloux qui ont pris des taches de peinture...

Owen said...

Hi Catherine, The blogosphere has indeed become a part of home, sort of like having another room in the house, a guest room, where all sorts of fascinating people turn up, have a cup of tea, and then return to their respective corners of the wide world... I have been, and remain, truly amazed at the connections that blogging facilitates. People I would have never met any other way... wonderful people...

Lydia said...

Your images are so striking, Owen. But your words in this post are truly sublime.
I envy you your life's path; I really do.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Thanks Owen, I never thought to look this up before.