Beautifully written Maha, thank you. Interesting how our sense of belonging changes after having left a place for awhile. I guess it’s possible to actually withdraw a sense of belonging from something as abstract as a country but it’s probably more like a wall of separation that needs this constant attention for how it cracks and crumbles as if the wall was as weak as a person’s intentions to be tough or resolved.
When I started reading this blog the image in my mind was Leslie and I leaving the US for Canada in 1975. We’ve been back maybe 8 times for visits and twice to bury parents. We don’t belong there, and especially after Trump, and it’s only one or two of our friends that could lure us across the border but only as foreigners or, as they say, Aliens.
And, of course I don’t mean that. Inside where it hurts to not belong, it takes our spirit away to some construction of hurting and hurting back. A falsehood of non-feeling.
And, I didn’t this to be about separation and connection after what you’ve said above. So I’m thinking about this place we live in Alberta that I’ve been in conflict with since day one, and we are now moving away in a few months and now it feels like breaking a bond that went unnoticed. A few years ago our friend Nadia from work invited us to her Mother’s funeral. It was our first time inside a Mosque and more importantly in a community gathering that reminded me of Unitarian Church services. The religion was unimportant and not knowing her Mom I could still feel what she represented to the people around me and it might be our real belonging is carried by those around us.