Teenagers socialising

So, now apparently the next wave of Queen Victorianisms are hitting the USA. Teenagers at schools all over the country are being hit with bans on hugging and any kind of "public display of affection". There's even an acronym for that, PDAs.

Here's a picture from a scouting summercamp of ours from two years ago - it's been deliberately chosen to scare the s**t out of American school leader:

They do that, you know, all by themselves. Whenever there's a break, they just huddle together in a bunch, girls and boys alike, any one usually touching no less than one other, often two or more.

All innocent, all about creating and confirming friendships. And you know what? When something happens that affect the group or one of them, they stand together like nothing you've ever seen. Helping, supporting, backing up. Because they know each other, trust each other, feel so comfortable about being together with each other.

I'm not even going to start the "they can have guns in your society but noyt hug?" discussion. But this is balarney. Get real!

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Feeling at home

Today, I went two hundred kilometers and back.
To and from a place which is 10.365 kilometers or 6441 miles away from home.

This evening, I realised what it was I felt.
I felt at home.

At home?


I've always thought of home as a place. Somewhere you can mark with an 'X' on the map. Somewhere special. Real. With a dimension of geographical presence.

I've also heard the version that 'Home is where I lay my head'. Or my hat, for that matter.

Home is both more and less than those things. Less than a specific place in space. More than a feeling.

Home is a state of mind.
And that particular state of mind can be reached in probably a handful of ways.

My very near ones, my loved ones, can induce it in a wink of an eye. Yes, here I belong, with you, us. That is home.

Books can do it. I'm so much always home in a book that it is such a disappointment when I dive into one and find out that, no, in this one, I'm not. But generally, I enter the book's universe and I'm at home. Magic of books, that is.

Nature does it to me. A steep slope of a mountain, the lush greenness of a spring forest, the moon or a clear star shining to me from a dark night's sky, a sudden buffeting of strong winds on a steep sidewalk in Brazil. I'm at home in nature.

Friends, friends really can do it, too. And music can do it. Like both did today. On a long road where I had no business feeling at home.

Yet I did. Very much so.

And oh, how I feel lucky for it.

- - - - - - - - -

Here is the start of this - rapidly jotted down at the corner terrace table at the Catedral do Chopp in Campinas, Brazil:


...at some point, the waiter's pen stopped working. And given that he didn't speak English and I surely don't speak Portuguese and that I had literally stolen it out of his breast pocket, I chose not to try to get another pen...

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