13 May 2011

Feeling like Janis

Janis Joplin was noted for having uttered the infamous quote: “You can never go home.”
(Poor Janis. I always felt so sorry for her. All she ever wanted was to be accepted and loved by the folks in her hometown.)
 As the fates would have it, I shall soon discover if Janis’ harrowing words are true. Can one ever, actually “go home”?
Tomorrow, the DEB and I are flying to America. My mother’s 85th birthday is next weekend, and we are heading to the American South to celebrate with her. Thankfully, we are making the trip in stages, which will help me ease into the complex—and somewhat fraught--environment.
We are landing in Memphis, we’re going to Graceland (!!) and spending a few days soaking of the culture of the Mississippi Delta. The DEB is beside himself with glee, he absolutely cannot wait.
For me, it is more if a love-hate dynamic. (Unlike my feelings for New York which is pure love-love!) There is something remarkable about the South, it is undoubtedly a place full of charm and character; but it is not without its blemishes and limitations. I suppose the same could be said of any place on the planet.
It is not a matter of being ashamed of where I come from – I am not. But, like Janis J., I have often felt odds with me surroundings, out of step with the status quo. So, I understand what she means.
I face tomorrow with an openness, that could lead to hurt; a skepticism that I think most healthy and wise; and ‘devil-may-care’ abandon that has taken me years to cultivate. 
Britain is my home. And, I miss it already.
p.s. Whenever we go on holiday, I try and read a book (that I’ve never read before) set in or about the location we are going to be in. For this trip I have selected: True Grit by Charles Portis. And, yes, I did see and loved very much the recent film. We saw it at the Spa Centre in Leamington Spa. The evocative music made me weep, and the story made me proud to be an Arkansas girl. The film touched the South that is in my heart.


5 comments:

Vilisi@islandmusings said...

I hope you have a wonderful time :)
I find it takes a while to get into the rhythm of 'home' again and especially so if the rhythm has changed a bit.

Carol said...

The Mississippi River has really flooded in Memphis. Graceland remains unscathed. I hope the river has gone down by the time you get there. Enjoy yourselves!

Deidre said...

Have a great time.

And definitely check out the Soul Museum while in Memphis it was my favourite! :)

Say hi To Elvis for me.

ramblinbess said...

I am definitely very intrigued by the South. A few years ago, my friend was driving cross country, and I met her in Nashville to finish off the trip with her. I loved Nashville but didn't get to go to Memphis. It sounds like you know the South way better than I do, but there is definitely something special there!

Lisa said...

I feel similarly about my hometown. It's a small place in Central California, but somewhere I never quite fit in. It's a place where most people are happy to fit the status quo and marry their high school sweetheart. I've nothing against that, but that's not the path life has chosen for me.