facets: a series of essays documenting my experiences as an indian immigrant adapting, rejecting, and relearning. this is a second part in a series of essays by Sharon G
Where is home? Where do I go when the day ends?
Where is my home? I was born here. This soil was the first to hide between the lines in my skin. But the first gold in my ears came from across the sea. The first kiss on my skin was spit from far away. The tongue I speak carves its words in long A’s and flat R’s, but when I speak Malayalam it dances in my mouth, and lashes out like snakes escaping from deep within me. I don’t feel at home, I never have. I’m always turning in the light; I always reflect what will get me through. I wonder if I will ever feel at home, I wonder if that place exists physically. Where do I go?
I don’t truly belong here or there. Maybe I’ll throw myself into the median, maybe if I let myself plummet to the bottom of the sea, perhaps in the horrific silence of the unknown I will finally find peace. But I don’t need to venture out of my room to find the unknown. That’s already within me. If you cut me open and wait for the blood to drain, then you will see stars, you’ll see my beginning and end and how closely they intertwine. I am made of the lives of many, and they all wait inside me wondering what my next move will be. Inside me you’ll find a chess set covered in blood and guts, and—there! Look at my face! Look at my head, I am the queen. I am made of fear, stars, love, sex, violence, murder, purity, virginity, greed, lust, sacrifice, elements from the earth and inhuman chemicals. How does such a conglomerate of a person belong anywhere? How do I have the nerve to say I deserve a home?
I don’t know where my home is, I don’t know where I feel comfortable, I don’t know if that’s possible for me. I don’t know what I can achieve, and it’s very possible that I will never find out. Do we all have to have an impact on this world? I just want to find somewhere I am content, but I am two puzzle pieces jammed together. Maybe I was better off lost at sea, maybe I should stop trying to find the angle where light shines the best, and instead just keep twisting. When I was little I had an ornament for Christmas, a fake diamond cut into facets attached to a gold thread. I’d put it on the lowest branch and twist, twist, twist, until the thread was tight with knots. Then I’d let go and it would run, my face would get blurred in its fury, and the light would scatter across my house and I’d just watch. Until slowly, slowly, it rocked back and forth to a stop. And I’d just start again.
(photo credit: vivan sundaram)