Walking out of the car repair shop by Highway 101 in San Rafael, the stunning sunset scene made me forgot where and when we were for a nano second. The elevated highway and the traffic on it seemed to be irrelevant, so did the giant industrial size shopping center and this American life.
Five minutes later it’s all gone, the rosy clouds, the evening glow, and the illumination. The cars on 101 were still moving in slow motion, coming from somewhere, passing by me and the car repair shop and the shopping center, moving on to somewhere else.
Then those words came to my mind. Elsewhere. Absente. Ailleurs. Life is Elsewhere. La vraie vie est absente. La vie est ailleurs. 我生本无乡，心安是归处。此心安处是吾乡。Home is where heart is. Rimbaud. Kundera. Larkin. BAI Juyi. SU Dongpo.
The Importance Of Elsewhere
Lonely in Ireland, since it was not home,
Strangeness made sense. The salt rebuff of speech,
Insisting so on difference, made me welcome:
Once that was recognised, we were in touch
Their draughty streets, end-on to hills, the faint
Archaic smell of dockland, like a stable,
The herring-hawker’s cry, dwindling, went
To prove me separate, not unworkable.
Living in England has no such excuse:
These are my customs and establishments
It would be much more serious to refuse.
Here no elsewhere underwrites my existence.