Nowhere has always fascinated me. Not the town in Oklahoma, but the concept of ‘nowhere’.
Maybe that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but the idea that we should have a designation to describe somewhere that is in fact, quite definitely not somewhere at all, intrigues me. And nowhere can crop up pretty much anywhere… there can be few of us who have not had occasion to describe our location as being ‘in the middle of nowhere’, or of having nowhere to go, of something coming from nowhere, or even that we’re going nowhere in our lives. It’s an abstract construct that can have very real and tangible implications, and although at times we may struggle to define exactly what we might mean by nowhere, we have a very clear idea of what it means to us.
Perhaps i’m a bit of a nowhere person – i’m an emotional nomad in many ways: being tied down or encumbered by specifics is something i struggle with. Consequently i tend to drift around in a fairly continuous state of nowhereness, which tends to permeate my life, both consciously and on an unconscious level. It’s like the aboriginal dreamtime, or the zen ‘void’, but in a tangible form, and without the navel-gazing. It really does crop up everwhere… and this is reflected in some of my favourite travel writing: a small volume of short stories called: ‘Tales From Nowhere’, because it resonates so well with how i feel about those places in the world i’ve been fortunate enough to experience. Another example sits on my bookshelf: a small chunk of rock – a physical piece of a nation called ‘Nowhere Island’ – it’s a place that now no longer exists – it’s nowhere – and, fittingly, i am/was a citizen – the whole weirdness of that paradox appeals to me greatly 🙂 .
Then there’s sl… a world that, in so many ways, is the very bastion of nowhereness – it’s intangible, yet very real; global, but in my front room; neither here, nor there in reality: a virtual state of being that can be felt, but not touched; experienced, but not real; lived, but not breathed. If anything is nowhere, it is sl.
It is perhaps inevitable that i chose to call my own small part of this great big nowhere, Nowhere Land. Evidently, being located in the Penny Lane sim influenced me a little, as did the knowledge that the parcel had previously been named The Magical Mystery Field, but beyond that, it seemed the only name fitting for a person like me to set up a home. You see, for me, nowhere could well be anywhere, but in the strange nowhere place of sl, this strange nowhere person has a place they can run to and be at home.
This has probably been one of my most baffling posts, and i realise that it probably makes little, if any sense, but i suppose that when the whole of life seems to be – in every way – going nowhere, there is something to be said for having nowhere that i can say really is, now here!
Well we know where we’re going
But we don’t know where we’ve been
And we know what we’re knowing
But we can’t say what we’ve seen
Talking Heads – Road To Nowhere