Of course, a hefty percentage of the global population that's had any first-, second- or third-hand exposure to Lake Como and the surrounding area feels a similar attraction -- hence its popularity and the growing presence of big money and famous faces.
A nice part of the world. A place that would be a good spot to call home.
I was interested to hear B. saying similar things, could see him feeling powerful intangibles at work. Could even hear it in his voice, at times blended with a strange, almost plaintive note of wonder at finding himself registering something of this inexplicably powerful variety. Got me thinking about the whole idea of home, all the different things that word can represent, how the feeling of home has been a curiously elusive quantity during this life of mine.
I have moved about like you wouldn't believe during my (mumble, mumble) years, and during the ongoing swing of it around the map, I've experienced brief pangs of what at times seems like the simple possibility a place might hold something that could come to feel homelike. Or the possibility that a town or a living space or a person or group of people might provide some part of whatever that sensation of home is, even just a small, transitory suggestion of it. I longed for that at times, could clearly feel that the wanting it was one of the elements that drove me from one place, one situation to another.
Late in 1986, I flew to London, my first time overseas. The first time,I think, that anyone in my nuclear family had been overseas. (My parents never crossed the Atlantic, never left the country, apart from a brief incursion or two of my mother's up to Montreal. They never went west of the Mississippi, a fact I find amazing.) British culture had made an impression on me during my early years, had expanded in later years into something important, something that finally moved me to make my first foray across the water.
When I reached Heathrow, I took a bus into the city, wanting to see everything, soak it all up and let it out through my pen into a notebook as I rode, rather than make the trip in the sensory-deprivation chamber of the Underground. And after a gratifyingly eye-filling ride, the bus let me off on the High Street in Kensington. I stepped out, my foot touched the sidewalk. And I found myself swept with a visceral, overwhelming sensation of coming home, feeling almost like an electric current coursing through my body, my mouth opening in surprise, my hand almost dropping my bag. Not even remotely like anything I'd never experienced.
On hearing this story, different people come up with different possible explanations, all of which have their validity. It's easy to slap any one of several labels on an experience like this, all of which will sound reasonable to someone. Myself, I've never tried to force that moment into a tidy little verbal container -- there was too much going on, it was too big. I've simply let it be, assuming it will show its meaning (or not) in its own time.