En Concluso

Home is good.

For me, “home” means all good things: being able to walk around barefoot, having the “right” kinds of food in the fridge, late-night conversations with old friends, driving, soft toilet paper, single-faucet sinks, love-cooked meals, and lots and lots of hugs.

I made it back home on Wednesday, after having traveled since Monday afternoon. A day in Edinburgh with Sandy and another in New York with Nandi (thanks again to both you two) was the perfect rounding out of a semester that was just what I needed at just the right time.

Within the world of study abroad, the phrase reverse culture shock gets floated around these days: apparently, some kids go to other countries and just kind of fit there. Whether it’s the driving on the other side of the road, or food, or a different pace of life, semesters abroad have the ability to grab people, and never let them go.

Those of you who know me well, I imagine, know that “letting go” is something I’m seemingly – sometimes awkwardly – able to do. I seldom form attachments to places, and even have little trouble going from no-distance to long-distance friends.

If I’m being charitable, I tell myself that to Buddhists, detachment is a positive thing, and in fact, attachments are blinding. If I’m being overly critical, I wonder if I’m an old grinch, pre-Cindy-Lou-Who style.

What I’m hoping, and beginning to feel, is that what’s really going on is quite different. I still email friends I made leading music at a worship retreat sophomore year in high school. I’ve talked within the last year to an elementary school friend who moved to Arizona in 4th grade. Hardly a Grinch or Buddha move. I do attach to people, so much so that I know leaving and letting go don’t have to go together. So those of you I have met and shared time and conversation with this semester better watch out for a “remember me?” email when you least expect it. I can be pretty hard to shake off.

Over and out from Scotland,
mark clayton

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I have been lax in putting up pictures since Easter Break. Here are a few:

— From my American Cookout on East Sands —

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Amelia & Georgie

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Kirsti & flatmate James

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— Butler Skye Trip —

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Skye & Pier Jumping 001.jpg

Mark-Avery-Henry, after out miserable midnight hike (don’t ask)

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— Pier Jumping —

Chris and Jerome, mid-jump

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Mark and Jerome, post-jump

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— A few extras —Jerome Cookies.jpg

Alan-Hannah-Henry-Mark, cooking-smoking-eating-drinking-chilling

Dinner at Henry's 001.jpg

Mark and Lindsay from NC, “studying” on the beach


Pool Shark Sandy, carefully eyed by Max

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What Sandy almost wore to his i-banking interview.

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Poker at Sandy’s (yes, I lost again)

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Jerome-Mark at Aikman’s

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Mark. Kilt. Funny-looking socks.

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