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December 18, 2013


There is a physicality to homesickness for me. After talking to people about it I’ve discovered that it’s mostly just me. I call it “homesick” but now I wonder if it’s even related. It’s a hollow pit somewhere around my diaphragm that could probably more accurately be classified as anxiety. It can be breathed into, but not through. If I dig way back I can remember feeling it most consistently at airports in the early morning as a little girl or leaving my family behind to travel back to Los Angeles. Maybe it’s homesickness, after all.  Or anxiety. Or homesickness.

Whatever it is, I’ve been feeling it at least once a day lately. It could be change, or the holidays, or just who I am right now.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2014 12:36 pm

    There’s a word for it in Welsh. Hiraeth. It’s one of my favorite words because it encapsulates this feeling of “home-sickness but not quite it” so beautifully. Here’s an excerpt from an old Paris Review piece that introduced me to the word.

    Hiraeth. It’s pronounced “here-eyeth” (roll the “r”) and it’s a Welsh word. It has no exact cognate in English. The best we can do is “homesickness,” but that’s like the difference between hardwood and laminate. Homesickness is hiraeth-lite.

    It’s an unattainable longing for a place, a person, a figure, even a national history that may never have actually existed. To feel hiraeth is to feel a deep incompleteness and recognize it as familiar.

    Mae hiraeth arna amdanot ti. There’s a homesickness on me for you. Or, if we’re mincing words, I miss you.

    You can read the complete article here:

    • Clementine permalink*
      January 13, 2014 9:51 am

      That’s really beautiful. (Especially in my head, I love a welsh accent!)

  2. January 13, 2014 10:33 am

    Ditto. Love the way it sounds in my head. Outside said head, Welsh performs vocal gymnastics with my Indian accent. Not pleasant sounding at all. Haha.

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