Diasporic Home – Eternal While it Lasts

Last posting’s title was actually meant for this posting’s subject: my new apartment. Having taken the resolution to feel at home wherever I happen to be, I thought that getting an apartment of my own would help with that. As the Beatles would say: “Where I belong I’m right where I belong”. One of those sentences with more than one meaning, depending on how you punctuate.

Moving can be tiring, but it is also exciting. It’s always good to get the moving muscles moving. I think I suffer from the cronic condition of not being used to being used to things. Quite Heraclitic.

So, even though I’ll only be in this apartment for a few months, I’m taking my time making it homy — in the sense of home for me. I think it is a bit like what scholar Naomi Scheman calls a “diasporic conception of home”

Diasporic identity is one form the outsider within can take, and it is crucial to it that it’s not a matter of just passing through, not having any real connection to the place where one finds oneself, caring deeply and responsibly only for home, wherever and whenever that may be. Rather, those who live diasporically can and often do bring resources of moral intelligence, conviction, and courage to the places in which they sojourn. (…) It’s only by engaging in and ultimately succeeding at the work of world repair that we’ll ever be able to go home. (Scheman, p.404)

The idea behind Scheman’s diasporic conception is to give up waiting for the place where everything is ideal, and to focus istead in making where we are a bit more ideal. It is an invitation to focus less on perfection and more in perfecting, to neither evade our current location, nor to resign to it the way it currently is. Diasporic identity drives home the point that home is where we happen to be, and where we came from, and where we are going, all at the same time.

And, as Vinicius de Morais would say, may it be eternal while it lasts.

* Scheman, Naomi. “Forms of Life: Mapping the Rough Ground.” The Cambridge Companion to Wittgenstein. Ed. Hans (ed and introd ). Sluga and David G. Stern. Cambridge, England: Cambridge UP, ix, 1998. 383-410.


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