BEYOND MERE SURVIVAL


the move – part two: a place to call home
April 7, 2009, 10:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

I spent the weekend in san Francisco, really trying to figure out if it could be a place to call home. I walked around for hours, spending time in different neighborhoods, trying to get clues about who the people inside each house could be, if they would be persons that I’d have any affinity with, what their beliefs and histories are, their aspirations. I had a somewhat inflated idea of San Francisco as a place where racial and class segregation were less pronounced than in other U.S. cities, but I was met by a different scene. Many of the neighborhoods where charter schools and “better” public schools are, are mostly white, obviously affluent, and a complete bubble. The middle class and working class neighborhoods are asian and latino. And that is that. Then there is the mission, which is just getting violently gentrified and feels tense and awkward. Obviously it’s impossible for me to get a sense of the city in a few days, but still it is disorienting. I want to be able to be around people that have a variety of histories, a variety of views on the world and cultural references. Otherwise how can anything change? If we are all scared of each other, understanding the world by stereotypes, and in the worst cases, being able to dehumanize people that don’t talk, look like, or act exactly like us. Fuck that. So I am pretty frustrated and also trying to answer the more fundamental question of what is a place to call home? Where do I feel like I can belong? Sometimes I wonder if the only place that feels like home is italy, but it doesn’t. it is familiar, and i can recognize myself in the shapes of faces, and skin tones, but it’s still very alienating to be in a constant ideological battle with a homophobic, racist, macho society. And it bums me out to believe that each of us is inexorably bound to where we were born, never able to create out own sense of home elsewhere. But it is very difficult to just chose where to move, hoping it will feel right, investing myself in it, leaving 7 yr old friendships behind, without any certainty in the outcome. I don’t want to drift forever. I am waiting for some enlightenment, a sign.

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