Thursday, November 26, 2015

thank god, i'm not a refugee, yet

yes, pictures like this do terrify me. primordial memories of genghis kahn! the great migrations and wars over territory, starting with the homo sapiens and the neaderthals. not to mention the lasting mysteries like finland and hungary. how did they get languages no one else speaks? if the past is prologue...

and of course, hordes coming at a time when i'm celebrating my ancestors treachery. the native-americans helped the pilgrims get through that first winter. then they turned around and slaughtered their benefactors, stealing their land. this knowledge embedded in every symbol of the victory: the turkey and the flag. and i think it underlies the consciousness of everyone in this chosen land, the city on the hill. 

not that i'm about to give my piece of it back. i love my little cottage, my microwave, my computer, the soft bed where i can revive myself every night. and i know consciously it's unlikely marauders and missionaries from the east will take it away from me. still, i've been homeless, moved at least a hundred times in my life, and i fear losing my possessions as it means losing myself.

true, i even resist traveling these days. i'm so comfortable, can think great thoughts in solitude, call my friends if i get to lonely. all that said, once i get on the road, i take to it like a stallion to oats. three days and i've forgotten everything i've left, until i get homesick a few weeks later, tired of trains and hostels, hookers and hustlers. give me back my quiet life. 

still, i think i could give it all up, if in an emergency i had to. when i got hit by a car and lying the  emergency room, i didn't give a thought to my latest camera or the massive writings i'd created. no, i worried about my ankle and my hip. would i walk again? could i work, make a living? where was everybody i called? okay, if i live, i'll start all over again, even at 75. 

hmm, maybe that's my saving grace as an american in a nation of immigrants. all of us kids got tossed out of the home, to make our way. i was anxious to leave and get on with it. if i've already done enough for two lives, do i really fear having another one? i never did complete being a stamp-collector, a lover of the ladies, owning a mercedes. so much to do, and so little time. before the invaders get here, i'll have made my way.