More than a desire for what once was, Homesick is a powerful force that can evoke spells of dizziness or nausea, stir up periods of loneliness and depression, prick out tears, and kick up memories. Homesick, in an instant, can transport us to another time and location, whisking us thousands of miles away and decades before, while we are standing in exactly the same place.
Even the subtlest reminders of home can induce an acute moment of Homesick. Triggered by a smell, a taste, a sound, sensory memories spark cravings for sensations intimately tied to what we know as home; the smell of Mexican fresh laundry, cinnamon coffee, a boyfriend, candy perfume, kittens, or oil, the feel of a hot car, security, freedom, or a scratchy wool blanket, the taste of avocados, an ocean, American Chop-Suey, or a four-shot vanilla iced latte, the look of a five-foot ninety-year-old woman, a rat’s maze, or dark, wood paneling of a den, the sound of rain falling on windshields, chicken sizzling in a pan, Pavarotti, WMFU from a Model One radio, or laughter.
And yet, while the yearning for another place, another time, another person can be paralyzing, it can also be a driving force for creating something new using traces of what we remember from before. Homesick triggers an aching for something familiar, but also inspires us to create the very medicine that helps pains fade as we reinvent a version of home yet to be experienced.