Falter

I know of
them.
These cultures
that "apparently"
I belong.
It is obvious
to me,
that I do not
belong there
or here.
I belong to me.

In first introductions, people ask about your shoes, your haircut, or something surface-y. It's a natural occurrence in American culture as a way of easing into a conversation (hopefully one of meaning).
Throughout my life, I have been asked, "What are you?" I know what they want to know. The names of the races that make up my face: Cantonese, Okinawan, Japanese, Scottish & Irish. And by the end of the list, they'll say something like, "How exotic." Or "You mixed always look so interesting." I'm not offended by it, it's just uncomfortable. Today, I say, "I am human" and I leave it at that because they are only concerned with the contours of my face, and I'd rather not discuss it. And deep down, I feel awkward when I hardly know anything about "my" cultures, because these cultures are clearly not my own. My roots are there, but I am a third generation American with parents who neglected to teach me their languages because they hardly knew them, themselves. I don't know any language other than those that have allowed me to communicate my feelings (art, film, writing, performance). I do not belong to these cultures and they do not belong to me, and yet, many define me by them. How can I resonate, let alone, explain in depth to others what I do not know? I don't want to do these cultures an injustice. I appreciate these cultures that have "created me", and I'm inclined to learn about them, but first and foremost, I am me, not a race to define. It took me a long time to realize this, since my American consumerist culture had brought me up to believe that this was the most important and defining factor of my identity. I now know that I am more than an interesting face.

Falter

BY acrossconcepts
theme story
language English
country United States
PARTICIPATE TO COMMENT RETURN TO THE GALLERY

This website is best experienced in landscape mode. Please rotate your device.