, Salem, MA


June 19, 2014

Anderson: Home, again

“But why had he always felt so strongly the magnetic pull of home, why had he thought so much about it and remembered it with such blazing accuracy, if it did not matter, and if this little town, and the immortal hills around it, was not the only home he had on earth? He did not know. All that he knew was that the years flow by like water, and that one day men come home again.”

Thomas Wolfe, “You Can’t Go Home Again”

Actually, I’d gone home to western Pennsylvania, to the little town (now a city) in the Allegheny Mountains, many times: to visit my parents, then not for a decade until my 50th high school reunion in 2011. But though I’d read Thomas Wolfe during my college years, I recalled just the title of the book, which always seemed technically inaccurate; the feelings noted in the above quote didn’t register with me until I returned with my son and his family for a week this month. The twins just turned teenagers; Lance will be 50 in July. Now I’m newly aware that “the years flow by like water” — for most of my life, I was just happily flowing with it, not noticing how the current speeds up as you get closer to the mouth of the river.

There’s something about taking your grandchildren to the grave of their great-great-great great grandparents, on a hilltop cemetery like the one in Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.” Now joined by my parents, they seem as they always seemed to me: “waiting for something that they feel is comin’. Something important, and great.”

I’m newly aware of that coming wait-time because I hurt my knee just before leaving and needed a wheelchair to get to and from the airplane, and walked with a cane during the vacation trip. I’m not old, I kept telling everyone, just injured. Yeah, in the rapidly aging knee ...

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate