Monday, May 11, 2009

The place where you belong (draft)

May is almost half over and the weather is still gray , the sky heavy of rainclouds. And our Anaïs kept quiet for days in the state of dark humour that resulted from the argument she had with some people in school, the one about fundamentalists and religions. She tried, in vain to point that fundamentalism is not specific to Islam but it taints each and every religion, but her words bounced from some people as they bounced of the hallway's walls. Her words lost in an echo....

"They do tolerate us, it is true, but they do not accept us ...How could I..."
"You cannot change their ideas once they decided to embrace their biases. And you should not beg or argue for acceptance, it is nothing wrong with whom you are and what you believe in"
"But, Nim, it pains me that their ignorance will do us so much injustice. And now I ask myself why did I travel so far from my dear ones if I still have to pretend to be someone I am not? "
"Ignorance will always cause injustice and blind is the one that chooses not to see.

Why? that is for you to answer yourself , it is only up to you to accept what you feel and believe. Yes, I know it's yet another cliché, another platitude. But, just look at me...

I was the only son and my father, the priest, was an important person in the village. Not because what he was, but because in each village the priest was the important person...I had my future made for me : spoiled as a child, my way through college planned and paid and a position which was more than a job waiting for me at home. All they asked from me was the least effort: You just have to study well enough to graduate from college. You just have to try to be a decent husband and father. The college, the degree did not matter much. And, since I had always been a good child and a good son they never worried that, the one I loved and chose to marry would not be proper for a wife and mother. Yes, I was a good son. And my father was a good man, his biggest sin was to get drunk from times to times and eat pork during lent. He hid in the basement and worried that "his flock" will find him out and know his weaknesses. He never suspected that they worried more about him finding out that they knew it. It was a small village after all...

But for me, to be what I felt and love what I loved and still live among them, it was unacceptable. So I chose to never return and to move so far away that the rumors of my loves and the shadows of my feelings would never travel back home. I always thought that, if my mother would have found out, she'd die of shame. Fortunately, it was not unusual for young people to escape to the west back then for other reasons than mine, reasons my parents understood and accepted.


So look at me know: am I accepted, do I belong, did I love how I felt? No. Haven't I judged them for not accepting me, and judged them more than once? But it was I who failed...And my mother who knew that it will be so much harder among strangers. I left and she cried :Why do you think you'd rather belong among strangers more than you belong here where it is home?"

2 comments:

Paul said...

It's a fascinating fragment which implies a much larger whole. Perhaps a great novel?

Annamari said...

Perhaps...