Thursday, July 10, 2008

Blessed and torn

P is away planning a wedding. It's going to be huge. Well not as far as weddings go but as far as I ever imagined. I am here trying to hold on, exasperated with the oblivious, well intentioned people that surround me, resentful towards those that do want something, apologizing profusely whenever I suspect that my unkindness unveiled. At the moment, I am wedged on a precipice of superstition, terrified of jinxing myself, restless, shifty as though I was going something wrong, committing a crime instead of sanctifying a bond. Ashamed as the con that I am.

Jogging through the rain soaked park in the last rays of overdue sunshine, I am so slow and stiff that I imagine someone mocking my girly run. Slow enough to observe signs of premature fall manifesting the accelerated random shuffle of seasons that global warming brought to these parts. Some plants are in full bloom while other are already shutting down into yellowing and rot. Maybe it was always that way, but everything seems threateningly off-key, a premonition.
The flock of geese that dominates the North end of the park have settled down for the night, configured in a teardrop formation in the lake's middle, well away from the banks. Maybe one of them is on nightwatch, looking out for its sleeping brethern for a proverbial fox or weasel.

P wants a big village wedding, maybe to please his family, or maybe his friends and wider relative circle. Although, when I burst into a fluster of high-pitched, teary eyed fatigue tantrum, he says having a proper celebration doesn't really matter. But I know it does, else he wouldn't have initiated it. And it will cost a lot, though I imagine we'll reimburse a good part of it would still entail a couple thousand Euros gone at best. But it doesn't matter, so long as we are welded together like that with his community, the community I stay away from 6 months a year lest they notice one of the marks that brands me, and can smile sweetly and freely at in the second half of the year.

I wonder what a heartwarming fowl formation would do to a sick member. Would they eject it to sleep by itself among the reeds, or would they peck it to death like chickens do to old hens, or would they keep it underneath the surface until its feeble struggle stopped, or would they, in any likelihood, take care of it? How primitive is the instinct of exile, how embedded. How much of it can we hope to conquer. I know I am a loser because I don't fight it at all, I do not confront, I still to the obscurity that this rural yet inernational life afforded me.

I think of B lying on a thin dirty matress in his asbestos roofed shack, recovering from stomach surgery. I sent him money two more times, and shut him off, not replying, because I don't want to be there for the next time. I don't want to be there when he dies. And I think how by sealing my fate with P, my destiny, I commit not just to my own exile, but to my parents' future abandonment. Don't let anybody say I overlooked it. I am heartless, but broken hearted. I want to cancel it all and run away and vomit and die, because I know it is going to happen. But I don't have a choice except doing the most wretched, and wonderful, thing, designed to bring a shade of security into this random life. I don't need it to confirm love, nothing will make my love for P any stronger, it is amplified to the max, I think. But I need it for the same reasons everyone needs it, dry, practical, and yet I see, even as I schedule dressmaking and consult airline web pages, that it won't bring the wholeness and tranquility that I have been missing my entire life, but will deepen the bleeding rift between who I was and who I am, and what and who are left behind. I need someone to stitch it up for me, because I just can't reconcile my love and happiness with this unspeakable dread, but all I do is instruct a woman, a more capable, resilient, worthy immigrant that I will ever be, to stitch fabric in a protective form around me. I will be camouflaged, blooming briefly and belatedly, blessed, torn.

1 comment:

Sam Gregory said...

I've been reading your blog in advance of AIDS2008 Conference. I am writing from WITNESS, a human rights organization that uses video and online technologies to bring awareness of international human rights violations. Our latest initiative is the Hub (, a participatory website for human rights media and action. On the Hub we will be focusing on the issue of HIV/AIDS through the duration of the conference.
Here are some ways you could participate:
1. Provide a Guest Blog (
2. Embedding media from the Hub onto your blog:
3. Join the Hub:

I'd be happy to provide more detail, just wanted to keep this comment short. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. Keep up the great work!

Look forward to hearing from you and having you share your thoughts with the Hub Community.

Sam Gregory
Program Director, WITNESS