The past is not a fixed object. It recedes when you land in another country, falling back further as you get married, have children, change jobs, move house. I was 23 when I left for Melbourne. I will always be 23 to those who last knew me in the Philippines.
But 18 years have passed in the tropics. Verdant pockets are now filled with concrete; the roads a paradox of movement and inertia. The lives of my family and friends go on. My life went on. The coin that paid for passage bears two sides: there and here.
Embrace Australia’s finest writers: subscribe to Meanjin
Subscriptions start at just $5 a month — which goes directly towards our writers’ fees.