‘It’s a choice you made’, I hear you say. You brought on your own suffering. You long for your homeland, your family, the meadows and fields you have walked in your youth and that now only recur in your dreams. Just before you go to sleep you have that uneasy feeling as if someone airlifted you from your ‘den’ and dumped in somebody’s garden.
Is that natural? Do we all have these feelings – expats, immigrants, migrants – all of us in exile?
Surely, others experience it too? What about diplomats, academics, those who moved from rural areas to big cities? Isn’t our uprooted existence a very common 21st century human condition? Thanks to affordable travel and technology we have conquered the distance. The whole world has now become our backyard. And it could be anywhere, at any point in time we let people into our lives, people that influence our path, perhaps even become our husbands or wives.
But then we start a family and something strange happen….The old bond to the soil and ancestors start creeping in, trailing around our minds like Russian vine. All we want now is to have met our partners in our childhood backyard and our families to live next door to each other ever after. When this feeling kicks in, I am thinking of…
Gathering up the crumbs
Ever since I have met you
I wished I could cut up a map.
Put your piece next to mine
Gather our families like crumbs
And put them into a friendly warm hand.
We would put ants into shame.
All lines and duty
Then tossing and shaking
Every time someone shakes our den.
We thought of living on the edge.
Full of fright and excitement
Brushing lustfully against each other
Dreaming of ‘growing our own’.
What we are left with is worrying and sleeping
Watching our relatives pop up on Skype.
Exhausted from mundane life
Brushing each other with regret
Pondering eternity in our dreams.
I look out of the window. I see our garden. It’s another morning.
Exactly here, our lives go on…