To be sure, in our human condition, it takes long, strenuous work to find the wished-for terrains of safety or significance or love. And it may often be easier to live in exile with a fantasy of paradise than to suffer the inevitable ambiguities and compromises of cultivating actual, earthly places. And yet, without some move of creating homing structures for ourselves, we risk a condition of exile that we do not even recognize as banishment. And paradoxically, if we do not acknowledge the possibility and the real pain of expulsion, then we will not know that somewhere there is a tree of life that, if we labor hard enough to approach it, can yield fruits of meaning after all. —Eva Hoffman in “The New Nomads”, in: Letters of Transit: Reflections on Exile, Identity, Language and Loss, Andre Aciman, ed.