Saturday, July 27, 2013


The Greek-derived word concept of "diaspora" was widely applied to Jewish historical patterns first, and then adopted by other cultural groups, nations and archetypes. There is a scattering and a far-flung replanting. There is a real or perceived Motherland, Fatherland, Homeland, Lost Land, Eden or Shangri-La. 

The concept can be helpful or banal or mystifying. Depends on your point of view, I suppose, and sense of scale. 

We could speak of a Cuban diaspora, for instance. Or an Armenian or Irish one. Or we could go continental and speak, write, think or conceive of an African diaspora. If Earth had to be abandoned and earthlings forced somewhere out into the rest of the universe, one could identify with an earthling diaspora.

Can we speak of a school diaspora? Maybe in a low-key kind of way. All our college or high school or grade school friends and peers were together a while, and then dispersed into the world. In which case, the Lost Land might be one of those institutions. Then there's the veteran diaspora. And so on. 

Out there in the wider world, do you feel "the mystic chords of memory" hearkening back to some Lost World?  That is, do you feel or have you ever felt diasporic?   

Today's Rune: Movement.  


Jim Pujdowski said...

I've given three schools the best part of my nervous system. One can never look back. I'm concerned about today and tomorrow!

Tom Sarmo said...

Interesting post. Diaspora is often one of the most prickling sources of creativity for me, and obviously for others--writers, composers, artists. Seems to me the pain inherent in the loss of Arcadia has inspired some of the greatest works.

Charles Gramlich said...

I think I'm a slight variation on the older way of people being born, growing, up and dying in the same town. I've traveled some, because of work, but other than the mini-diaspora of what happened to New Orleans before and after Katrina when people spread far and wide, I haven't had any experience of such a thing.

jodi said...

Erik-not really, I'm too much of a present day hedonist. More vodka please?