Tuesday, July 22

The Water Between Us

When I was a child I lay in bed at night and looked out at these
islands. "There's no sense sailing to San Miguel," my father always said. "There's nothing out there." Sometimes when the wind shifted and blew in from the southwest I could hear seals barking and a sound like women singing, and I wanted to swim to San Miguel. It stood for the separateness I felt from my family, for the mystery of how identity is formed. Now I find I can't say I am one thing without saying I am another: as these islands are defined by their relationship to the coast, so is my sense of aloneness rooted in the context of family, and because of it, I knew the ways in which I was different, and how the "water between us" could be bridged by what we share.
It is not my custom to use this blog as a forum to articulate the merits (or lack thereof) of books, music, art, etc... The way I see it, all genres of expression are subjective and what resonates in me may not resonate in you, heck, it might downright repulse you.

This blog started out with an excerpt from the book "Island, The Universe, Home" by Gretel Ehrlich. I didn't read this book, I ingested it and in less than 48 hours. Yes, it resonated with me, particularly this passage.

I think it's safe to say we've all felt, at one time or another, disenfranchised from our family, that they didn't understand us, we didn't speak the same language, they were from another planet, I had to be adopted, etc... For me, this passed as life experience and a little wisdom crept into the creases of my know-it-all brain, but in reading this today, I realized the water between me and my family is getting harder and harder to bridge because we share so little.

This bugs me.

5 comments:

Hahn at Home said...

Their can be acceptance in understanding your ties no longer bind and find a space to love and honor them for the part they played. At least, I have. Hope you can too.

Jozet at Halushki said...

That's a beautiful passage.

I find that we're like floating islands that wander away and toward each other. Is that a bad metaphor?

Jane said...

Very beautiful passage.

I'm separated from the bulk of my family by 4 states and significant differences in lifestyle and other things that aren't terribly important to me, but are HUGE GIANT VERY IMPORTANT differences to them.

It's hard. I get exactly what you're saying.

Shamelessly Sassy said...

it bugs me too. Nice blog, by the way.

Texas2Tennessee said...

Thanks to each of you for sharing your thoughts:

Hahn (aka Lori)- I do appreciate the role they played in helping me become who I am, just wish I could share more of who I've become with them.

Jozet - Not a bad metaphor at all...I love it actually.

Jane - last Christmas, my aunt turned to me and said, "We just don't know about you." I'm thinking we might be related!

Sassy - Thanks...I think we have enough folks who are "bugged" by the familial disconnect to start a club.