by Mary Al-Akhdar
Just before we moved away from the U.S. to be expats for the first time, I stood on my front porch and observed the homes across the expanse of my rolling neighborhood. Brick fortresses, each with its front door closed tightly.
The years at home raising children, the many moves from one city to another, and all the feelings of isolation that go along with that, I never felt as an expat in Switzerland.
by Wendy Jones Nakanishi
I feel I know Japan and the Japanese well. I am the
beneficiary of circumstances that have made that knowledge possible. I have
lived here for over thirty years: not in some anonymous city but in a rural
area where local families trace back their history for centuries, and customs
have remained largely unchanged in the space of living memory. I am married to
a Japanese farmer and have three biracial sons, and we inhabit a neighborhood
that is like an extended enclave of my husband’s family.
by Laura J. Stephens
“All of us, from the cradle
to the grave, are happiest when life is organised as a series of excursions,
long or short, from the secure base provided by our attachment figures”.
- Jeremy Holmes, John Bowlby and Attachment Theory, p. 67
“Oh my God, you look a right size.” My
mother greets me with a look of disdain as she approaches with an imperious air,
striding at a lick across the ward. Her words ricochet in my head with the
shame of the implication, or perhaps of having such a mother. My neck and face
begin to burn red.