Tuesday, July 6, 2010

arriving

Years ago, whenever I flew from the home that I knew - Malaysia - to the home I adopted - Vancouver - I would weep copious amounts of tears, my heart breaking painfully (for a loss of wholeness that never was) for most of the journey across the Pacific. Then I would arrive and the toilets at the airport would be clean, the salty air would seduce me, and it was as if Vancouver were an amnesia-inducing anesthetic.

"How can I tell if love of life is not a delusion? How can I tell whether a man who fears death is not like a man who has left home and dreads returning? Lady Li was the daughter of a border guard of Ai. When the Duke of Chin first took her captive, she wept until her dresss was soaked with tears. But once she was living in the Duke's palace, sharing his bed, and eating delicious food, she wondered why she ever cried. How can I tell whether the dead are not amazed that they ever clung to life? (Chuangzi)

Lately I feel as if the last 20 years of being in this place, I was really still leaving that place: unable to properly see this place from the clutter and tangle of the things I carried.

But now, finally, I am arriving in this land, into this land. I arrive into a beauty hewn by violent geological upheavals. I arrive into a present made by violent upheavals and displacement of peoples from their land.

I arrive into a clutter and tangle of violence and ruptures that are so painful that we long for the anesthesia. We long for amnesia.

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