Friday, December 08, 2006

Born (t)here but not from (t)here.

This Sunday a good friend of mine is coming to Trinidad until the 21st. She is from the States (born there) ... but is not from there in spirit.

When she first came to T & T, she was living just a stone's throw from me. When we met, she quickly ended up becoming a riding pal ... someone I could call spontaneously at some ungodly hour of the morning and say "Hi, let's go to Toco and leave at 6:00 a.m." and she would groggily mumble: "Okay ... I'll go and get ready ..."

I've noticed that most/many foreigners who come here for 'a visit' or for work either end up staying for ever, strongly wanting to or simply returning frequently (for a number of reasons). When Keshia came, something in her connected deeply with T & T - the place and the kindred spirits she encountered. She has been back frequently and, when she has been away too long, often feels an intense longing and emptiness that can only be filled by 'home'. Coming here for her is like a battery returning to its charger. I find this interesting, especially because I've seen it happen to many visitors.

I think T & T is beautiful (just minus the miserable few who are destroying it). However, even though I was born here, I grew up never feeling that I was fully 'from' here. My body is here, waiting, in transit, to go where my Spirit belongs. I know others who feel like this. Sounds a bit like life and death ... but perhaps that's what it is. Leaving Trinidad (if you are born here or have connected with it very deeply) is like leaving the 'body' you have been housed in for so long and going to experience life in another geographical body.

I think we are like plants ... planted as seeds in a particular garden. Some plants are at home in these gardens of origin, where the soil and nutrients are just right for them to flourish. And for some plants, another garden somewhere else will have the right nutrients for their maximum growth. Bloom or wither?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Chookooloonks said...

I know exactly what you mean. I was born here, but spent a majority of my life in the United States. And even though it would make sense that I would feel more "American" than Trini -- I sound American, I know much more about American politics than I do here -- I am, as we say, "Trini to de bone." My soul feels like it comes home when I'm here. I've always attributed it to the fact that even though most of my friends are American, I grew up with Trini parents and Trini customs -- but maybe there's something to what you say about "the body" following "the soul."

Thought-provoking post, as always.

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. I really enjoy discussions about the experience of being Trinbagonian. One of the articles that really made me think was "From Hope To Despair" written by Ira Mathur. I go back to it every now and again to read and reflect.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

Your 'sandbox' says it well too.

10:32 AM  

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