Thursday, February 14, 2019

Jake Cosmos Aller writes

Rambling Man - Where Do I Belong?

I have been a rambling man
All my adult life

Grew up in Berkeley, California
Went to college in Hayward and Oberlin

During my lost year
Lost in a fog of booze and pot

Then I came back to reality
And went to college

In Stockton, California
The Central Valley

Ohio transplanted to California
Then after four years in Stockton

With extended weekends
And breaks in Berkeley

I became an expatriate wanderer
Peace Corps worker in Korea

Then taught ESL in Korea
For four years

Occasionally returning to my home
But always wanting to be elsewhere

Then back to Korea

And then Seattle for four years
Driving back and forth to the bay area
Stopping off in Southern Oregon

Eventually bought a house and duplex
In Southern Oregon

Vaguely thinking we would retire there
Some day when my rambling ways were over

Then back to Korea for three more years
Then I joined the Foreign service

And my wife the military
And I wandered the world again

Always somewhere
Always dreaming of my next somewhere

Never there
As I was a permanent expat

And a diplomat to boot
Never a local

But never really felt I belong there
Or in the America
That was becoming more and more
A foreign land
The longer I stayed away

I stayed on in DC for almost ten years
Off and on
But never really felt that I belong there

I was too West Coast in my heart
And DC seemed to be

Just a place to stay
In between travels

Stayed in Thailand
Then later India
And Eastern Caribbean
And later Spain

Traveled to 45 countries
Lived in ten

And now I am retired
Still torn between

living the expat life
In Seoul, Korea

And returning to the West Coast
And occasionally back to DC
And Florida as well

And I wonder
Where do I belong

Where do I belong
Other than wherever
My wife and I end up

Neither here nor there
Half way there

And so is that my fate
Never to really belong

Never to have roots in the ground
Always wanting to be somewhere else

Always a stranger in my native land
And a stranger in my other home
Across the sea

There is no answer to these questions
As the rambling urge comes again

And I prepare to move yet again
Hoping someday I will be

Somewhere where I can stop
These rambling blues
And really be there
Image result for homeless wanderer paintings
Homeless Wanderer -- Anna Jagla

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