Sometimes John had recorded new compositions, or lines from his new poems. Sometimes he'd just record a busy night in The Green Man. Sometimes sheep, seals, skylarks, the wind turbine. If Liam were home there would be some Liam. The summer fair. The Fastnet Race. I would unfold my map of Clear Island. Those tapes prised the lid off homesickness and rattled out the contents, but always at the bottom was solace.
I felt a pang -- a strange and inexplicable pang that I had never felt before. It was homesickness. Now, even more than I had earlier when I'd first glimpsed it, I longed to be transported into that quiet little landscape, to walk up the path, to take a key from my pocket and open the cottage door, to sit down by the fireplace, to wrap my arms around myself, and to stay there forever and ever.
She was smart and terribly determined, this girl-her will was pure steel, through and through-but she was as human as anyone else. She was lonely, too. Lonely in a way that perhaps only single girls fresh from small Midwestern towns know. Homesickness is not always a vague, nostalgic, almost beautiful emotion, although that is somehow the way we always seem to picture it in our mind. It can be a terribly keen blade, not just a sickness in metaphor but in fact as well. It can change the way one looks at the world; the faces one sees in the street look not just indifferent but ugly.. Perhaps even malignant. Homesickness is a real sickness- the ache of the uprooted plant.