There were benefits that came with my exile. Among the benefits was the freedom to go places. A strange incongruity was that the more I thought about going places, the more aware I became of my home and its importance to me.

I wanted to go places. I wanted to see landscapes that I could not see close to home. Travel would nourish my curiosity about the world. It all interested me—the geology and geography, the history, archaeology and culture imprinted on the landscape. I wanted to have a little knowledge about the people who lived in other places. People who lived in other places had lives and beliefs that were different from my own and that were shaped by the land itself. Only by travel would I know places as more than images from photographs and lines on a map before my world began to close in on me.

There were few places I could not go if I chose to journey there. There were few places that I could go while I was physically able and before she came for me.

And yet, the appeal of my home base was very strong. At home, I could relax. Home was comfort. Our home was a reflection of ourselves and a work of our own artistry. So I understood that there was an element of narcissism in my affection for the home I had made with Lisea. Its chaotic order and its imperfect beauty were order and beauty in our eyes.

Home was our domain and our refuge. It had become a part of us so much so that when we were away from it, we felt the separation. Wherever we traveled, we were drawn back to our home base, and it always felt good to get there after being away.

It was hard for me to leave. Most of the world I would never see or know.


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