The window separates them and me, unawares that through this window covered by a mesh curtain I can see a family going through the motions on a warm, sunny day which could take place anywhere. It’s not about one family, it’s about all families preparing a meal on the BBQ while the children remain close playing their games unaware that to this person’s eyes it means that I could also envision closeness. Closeness that was difficult in my childhood. Looking through this window it’s a gift which I can keep inside me, and this is the beauty of looking through a window darkly.
Unlike economic migration, exile, or variations of forced migration, ‘existential migration’ is conceived as a chosen attempt to express or address fundamental issues of existence by leaving one’s homeland and becoming a foreigner. This is not simple wanderlust or international travel. It is a motivated quest that is deeply resonant with the person’s whole relation to life. Grey Madison
As a young woman living in the South Bronx I always had this feeling of leaving home. Not just down the street, or to the next borough, or to another state, I wanted to go as far as my legs could take me. I wanted to cross the pond. Forty years later I was able to cross the pond to the Netherlands, however, after awhile it did not feel like home. Three years later I returned to the states only to feel that it still did not feel like home. My restlessness was exasperating at times. Then in 2013 my husband and I moved to France. France was always a favorite of mine. Perhaps because while living in New York I watched a lot of French movies, keeping up with the subtitles, but never really learning the language. In Gaillac, I took French classes, but it didn’t sink in fast enough, and I felt like an outsider. When people would speak to me in French and realized I was not fluent, they politely excused themselves and went on their way. It was too much work to try to understand my Franglais. So now I am trying to think of a way to create work that reflects this feeling of feeling alienated and displaced in a foreign land as well as the land I grew up in. I know at some point I need to go back to New York and find some semblance of connection. Or perhaps I have lost the connection to the place that nurtured my wanderlust.
And so I shall go deep within myself and think and feel and try to express these feelings through whatever medium I can. Ok, the challenge is on!
They say once you get past 60 your sleep patterns change. Sure enough for the last few days I have been having a war with my bed covers. Tossing and turning hoping that my eyes would get heavy and I get lulled to sleep. But noooo, didn’t happen. So what’s up with that? Maybe when the lights are out I think too much. Or maybe it’s the night time watching of crime shows, particularly British ones. I don’t know, but it’s got to stop because waking up at noon is counter productive to my creative energy.
Well today I got up at 8:00 am. Yay for me, but I was still in bed looking at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email, and Flipbook. So today I will be super creative, at least that is what I am going to try.
My grandmother used to get up at 5:00 am and sit by her window in the South Bronx. She did not do much because it was not really home. Home was in Puerto Rico, but all her children migrated to New York, so she came also. At least in Puerto Rico she would be working in her garden, but living in an old apartment must have been awful for her. So she would sit by the window and watch the children play, and watch me as I went to school, and she would still be there when I got back. At least the apartment faced a busy boulevard? I wonder if I will sit by the window at 5:00 am in the morning? But wait, in the winter it will be dark. Maybe I still won’t be able to sleep. So what will I do? Take selfies in my bed? Watch reruns of Law and Order? Or maybe I will get up and write in my journal, which I don’t have yet.
Alas, I am getting up and go for a long walk and see if I get inspired. We will see. Sleep, it’s so over rated.