I wonder what the future looks like.
I am thinking about what “where are you from” will mean in my family’s future. I wonder what it means even now, because we’ve all moved around a lot. My family is, by a combination of choice and being forced, as transnational as it gets, but we’ve all got a sense of where we’ve been. What will happen when we get further from those homes as the years go on? Will we belong in those places, or increasingly nowhere?
And I think that maybe I’m from no one physical location, but am located in this web of family relations existing ever ready to catch me and bounce me back if I get lost. We’ve been remarkable in keeping in touch all around the world across the years. But what happens if we stop? What happens if the passage of time, the lost information between generations, means that we lose touch with a branch of the family, and another, until we forget that we are elsewhere, too?
I hope we’ll always belong to our history, and to each other. That’s what I’ll be teaching my children when they realise their peers won’t quite let them belong. You belong with us, my dears.
I have plans to try and keep up with as many family members as I can reach, across language and national borders. I think that if I don’t, I’ll lose whatever chance I have to make solid and manageable this implacable yearning for home. These people are as close as it gets. This is how I belong, not where.
Where am I from? I don’t know, but I’m from us. I’m from my family, and I’m from those children who are going to learn their belonging from me.