Every dreamer might once dream a dream of destiny huddled tightly in a particular idealized place in the universe. Every dreamer might once fail to escape the truths of reality.
As I pause my reading over at Shala's Rabbit Hole, a rabbit hole indeed, I stop to reflect on my own dreams I once held for New York City. We have a relationship, it's just one in which I am still trying to properly put into words. Vocabulary limitations aside, I seem to always dream in location. When I was eight years old moving from Jamaica to The Sates, my mom decided to inform me of said move, the morning of our one-way flight to the new paradise. I said goodbye to my friends and all I had known, with the same amount of shock they probably had, but a lot less sadness. I was stress-free. The concept of home would later become a constant point of contention. It was as if I had such limited time to dream, that it all came flooding at once. I can't tell you what I thought I'd expected at that time, but I remember thinking my moving to America was something I should be excited for, despite the fact that within less than 24 hours, I was leaving everything I knew behind.
Though that was more than half my life and many bad decisions ago, that idea of moving as fantasy is still very real for me. It is as if right where I am isn't enough, as if freedom is locked into migration, a distance from the present reality. As a young nine year old girl, I would soon come to regret my joy, in fact I might just have been depressed by the age of eleven.
Though I always try to speak for myself in these posts, I also find similarities across stories of Afro-Carribean creatives - "we need to move" seems to be a popular theme. While new locations can be incredibly reflective among its often unique charm and enticement, it's almost not worth it if there's no point of return. I wonder what our home countries would be like if we never left. While a 'return' doesn't always manifest itself physically, there is a point where we find a home within our point of origin, no matter how far we stray, no matter the distance our dreams might take us. I suppose we must keep dreaming to return.
I feel compelled to disclose that I have an imbalanced sense of optimism. I propose there is little room for grey areas when you strip the purpose of life to the core. And lo, I live in it. Always looking for the negative in the positive, the positive in the negative.
A very dark moment is often followed by some shine. Like, it is as if the universe can not operate in a singular mode so something must shift. That knowledge in itself is integral to my survival. I must believe something will come out of something because otherwise there is all the reason in the world to give in and disappear.
Location has become an integral part of my sense of work and happiness. I leave and adopt various aspects of myself when I am in a particular location. Right now, I am pleased to be in the space I am, quite content actually, but I always know that feeling is temporary. I already know my next move.
Thanks for the reminder Shala. Your article now seems to be un-relocatable. I guess your site really lives up to its name. The essentialism of time(ing) can never be underestimated.