Tuesday, November 24, 2009
What's the word?
For almost as long as I can remember, I have have felt an urge for community. And accompanying this pull, for nearly the duration, there has been a hint of shame, or shyness, that it should be so. Surely this was an odd thing. A desire that one confessed to, rather than celebrated. Autonomy, self-efficacy, independence, even inter-dependence - these were healthy aspirations. But the longing for tribal connections ... you grow out of those things, don't you? Well, not me! There - it's out. The truth is that I mourn for something. Something I think we may have lost in the crazy diaspora of the last two of three centuries. I have roots in me; I know this because I feel their ache for the old soil. Locked into this weird and knowing DNA of mine there is a memory, so it seems, for living differently. Living in a smaller, more constant, more familiar and connected world of people. There is an African saying (exact origin unknown) - 'I am because we are'. Perhaps this is a universal truth. I know it each time I re-experience the joy of linking with friends to talk about our lives and share stories. I was delighted recently to learn the word homonomy. I was told it meant the desire for community. Aha. My visceral instinct was now named and tamed. I embraced the terminology and its meaning. More recently still, I've found, or not found, its source. I can't find the word in the dictionary - it's simply not there. So I wrap a blog post around it instead.