Saturday, January 05, 2008

the cycle of an immigrant

You have no idea how complicated it is to be an immigrant. You love your old home country. You miss it. For whatever reason, you do not live there anymore. You embrace the new land: you learn about being a resident of your curiously different, but increasingly familiar home. You don’t go back to the old place, but then you do go back. You get all nostalgic. You go back again. And again. Until you remember that it’s not all that perfect back home (in the same way that it’s not all that perfect anywhere). You think – I best put it behind me. You do, but you don’t really. You want to write a book about it all. You do write (or commence to write) a book about it all. Then you go back with renewed enthusiasm. After all, your childhood memories were good and pure and simple.

And it does not stop there.

I’m finishing up work here, but my foot is already there, in Warsaw. I can see myself on the January streets of my childhood turf. I can feel the place. Not as it feels to, say, my sister, who lives there now, but how it feels to me, the immigrant, going back to what was once undeniably and completely home.

I was thinking about this as I was walking to Whole Foods this afternoon. Perhaps because the route to the store is so boring.

001 copy
going there

003 copy
heading back

Or, because I have a quick (so very brief) trip to Poland ahead of me.

Or both.