Leading Idea: Going from – Going to

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Leading Idea: Going from – Going to

When you decide to move, does it make a difference if your reason for making the move is tied to leaving behind the place you are currently in, or tied to the place you heading toward? Sometimes the place we are heading towards is also a place we once chose to leave (coming home after camp, leaving the home town where we grew up, then coming back there later in life). Sometimes that ‘return’ is from a place our ancestors left generations before (Jews going to live in Israel, second or third generation immigrants returning to their parents/grandparents’ country of birth). Is a return to place always motivated by the desire to be there or can there be other reasons to ‘return home’?
Susan Babbitt, writing on American slavery notes that the decision to leave often also involves a bold step of imagination. In going to this involves the capacity to imagine one’s life differently from how it is, and perhaps to imagine yourself capable of things you have not yet done. To have both to desire change and some imagined life that you are moving toward. In going from imagination also comes into play, as it may involve playing out the consequences of staying where we currently are. Of course both might be the matter of implusive action (without much forethought) – but is that the case here?
Hagar has left Avram’s house and she is ‘on the road to Shur’ – heading back toward her place of birth, Egypt. It looks like she is fleeing from one home and returning to another home. Yet she turns around and returns to the place of conflict – her home with Avram and Sarai (and that doesn’t seem to turn out too well for her!). These discussion plans explore going form and going to and the reasons we might have for making these journeys.

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