Standing In Its Shadow or Blocking Its Light*
I understand the need for a postmodern angle as a method to counter the system of rewarding known heritage by hierarchising value according where that heritage places someone in the system. One only has to pick up a work of Fiction pre-World War II to see how birth and class particularly in the western world assigned a person worth or not. Who are your parents? In what part of London is Cheapside? The system is set up to ostracise the bastard children before the other layers such as sex, race, class, etc are introduced to finish the job. Nevertheless, I do not believe a beneficial counter offense is to broaden fragmentation. What seems more appropriate and fair is to dismantle the value system that elevates known heritage over unknown heritage. Both can exist without a superior/inferior dichotomy. Heritage does not need to be erased, including when one has a socially unfavorable history. It is what it is. However, social politics seem to have very little to do with the individual person who simply wants to feel a connection with origin.
While working through this I realised that dismantling the patriarchy, which does value legitimacy over illegitimacy, is in fact a form of bastardising the masses. Yet, to call it bastardising is still operating within a patriarchal mindset. A complete bastardisation of the masses will dismantle the patriarchy but it will probably lead to total fragmentation. Fragmentation provokes a feeling of imbalance and incompleteness. Not unless fragmentation only feels imbalance and incomplete while trying to exist within patriarchy. Who knows how a quintessential fragmentation will feel if patriarchy is completely annihilated.
Nevertheless, I want to know who my people are. Not people who are assigned to me by others. Not people who are projected on to me, but my people. I want to become so over stimulated with my ancestry that I faint when I touch our land. This is unobtainable in a fragmented society. Regardless of what other layers a family is operating under, it seems privilege to know one’s ancestry. To know that one’s aunt or great uncle or grandfather or mother or even father was this or that or did this or came from here or there is a comforting balance that bastardise children (who become adults) are not privy to. When I say bastardise I am not limiting the term to just knowing one’s mother and father and being the product of their patriarchal approved marriage, but to mean the absent of knowledge of who and where one’s origins began. Without that knowledge the child is an orphan of the world.
I don’t know what home feels like. I’m not speaking in the physical realm as the home one grew up in, but the visceral realm as in “I’ve come home.” The closest I have ever felt this is in England. Each time I go to England I feel almost home, like if I just walked further north or south or east or west or across the way a bit I would make it home. In America, I feel discombobulated. Granted, I feel less the more east in America I am and more irritated the more west I go. In Hawaii and in Japan I feel totally away from home. I can acknowledge the peacefulness of Japan, the potential qualities of home it may have for others but I am definitely detached and not at home in Japan, Okinawa, etc. Nor do I belong to Puerto Rico, Jamaica, or Central America. I want to try Scotland, Bulgaria, Finland, Liberia, Egypt, Tanzania, etc to see if when I set foot there I can feel at home. Yet, I appreciate and understand all to well how one can be caught up in the grass is greener or longing for a reality that can only exist in disillusionment. Or maybe I can pay the money to have a DNA test done, but then I would have to go into all of the family secrets that some have promised to take to their grave. Because in order to do the test I have read how one needs to know this or know that, etc. What if someone does not know anything about anyone?
*Borrowed from Cher’s “Not enough Love In The World.”