I recently finished reading Murakami's The colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of Pilgrimage a beautiful hardback copy which I received as a birthday gift from my wonderful colleagues (they know me so well! Last year they got me 1Q84 which I absolutely loved). What a wonderful book. I am smitten with Murakami's writing. It's like magic, the world he creates within these pages. And I am also thankful for the translators who capture and convey the feeling so well in another language (I read in English mostly). One phrase from this book really struck a chord with me because it phrased exactly what I had been feeling for a while now, but could not capture into words.
'La Mal du Pays' which translates from French as 'melancholy' or 'homesickness' roughly, though it is deeper, as explained in the book. This feeling has been resonating in me, quietly but surely, and growing stronger. I found the need to visit the neighborhood I grew up in more frequently these past few months. And a deeper feeling of homesickness had arisen, each time I visited I wanted to go back as soon as I could. Being there was immensely sad, yet very comforting at the same time. The home I grew up in is no longer there. Well, the apartment I grew up in is there, but all sense of 'home' is more or less gone. I miss her, my mother. So odd to think she has been gone from my life for nearly 9 years now. I suppose La Mal du Pays resonates that groundless sadness in my heart called forth by maternal absence in my pastoral landscape. Being in the neighborhood where she and I spent so much time together, resonates that sentiment within me.
A pilgrimage is something we all must undertake at some point. The journey I have been making in these recent months might be considered as such. And I'm not sure where it's going to lead me. Murakami's books are comforting in a way, as open endings leave room for endless possibilities...