Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Where is Mecca?

Yesterday's post got me to wondering whether there's any place on Earth (or anywhere else in the Universe) that is "Mecca" to me. My first thought was that it certainly isn't Disneyland, and I've spent an hour on the Internet trying to find a drawing by Ralph Steadman showing a couple of tourists wearing a cap of Mickey Mouse ears leaning over the rail of the Fantasyland bridge throwing up into the moat. Alas, I couldn't find it. But if I do, I'll stick it in here. (Or if you know where it can be found, please let me know.)

The only place that resonates Mecca-like for me seems to be my home. I look forward to returning here every time I go out. I always enjoy returning home from vacation more than I enjoyed leaving home to go on vacation in the first place.

Surely I'm not such a homebody as that? This will bear thinking about further....


  1. It's a sickness, I tell you. Same here. When I leave on vacation, almost from the first day, I am planning what I will do upon my return.

  2. I wonder how many men would take a vacation if their wife didn't want too. I have enough to keep me busy around the house, I don't need to go somewhere else and think about it. And, Morris, if you feel good kicking back in your easy chair, for me that's as good as walking round some cube.

  3. Tom, I tend to take "sickness" as Sheepandgoats humor, but I have to consider whether there really might be something not quite right about preferring home over everywhere else. I do know a number of people who adore going off to Europe or trekking about the U.S. in their Winnebago. I know people who leave early and return late. That is, they don't want to leave wherever they went off to until the last possible moment, even if it means getting home after midnight. Why are they like that, me the way I am? The answer(s) might be interesting, but I suppose they don't amount to either their or my being "off." Just "different strokes" perhaps.

    Ed, I like your subtle reference to the Kaaba, that holiest of holies in Islam. And your reference to that of course brings me back to the context: places that pilgrims journey to. Love of one's home as a place to "kick back in" seems somehow of a different order from a pilgrim's devotion to visiting a "shrine or sacred place" (to quote The American Heritage Dictionary's definition of "pilgrim").

    Perhaps it comes down to whether one recognizes such places, or whether any places that might be such to others are such to oneself. Mecca is not such to me anymore than Disneyland is. Nor is "The Holy Land" generally, or Jerusalem (I know a newlywed Mormon couple who went to Jerusalem for their honeymoon).

    In my own case, I have for years (from time to time, if not moment by moment) practiced the awareness of the mundane as sharing in (or being equally) the sacred. One's yard is (or can be perceived to be) as holy as any church building, for example. Making the bed or folding the clothes is (or can be regarded to be) as sacramental as taking the bread and the wine.

    I hope that my choosing Home as my own personal Mecca is (or can be, when I exercise the appropriate consciousness) as significant, sub species æternitas, as a Muslim's making a haj.