January 21, 2013 § Leave a Comment
As a child the land I grew up in did not appear to have borderlines. There was my world and there was overseas. Instead I imagined them. Could it be that across the river lay Scotland? Perhaps the furthest hill was hiding Russia. And surely New Zealand must be on the other side of the woods.
The ships that sailed the river I watched over with childhood curiosity were slow and battered, with the secrets of far off places ruminating in their rusty hulls. As childhood merged with adolescence I knew that when I finally left childhood behind I would follow my curiosity and jump the solid borderlines that were increasingly constraining my world.
My formal education died an early and unmourned death and in its wake a passport appeared. My many passports are now littered with the multiple mementos of crossed borderlines. Each one a reminder that every border, boundary and division was first imagined before being negotiated, fought over, realigned and sometimes overturned. To make ourselves safe we imagine the cultural, racial, social, sexual, psychological and geographic borderlines that matrix the maze we spend our lives wandering through.Why is it that although we create the lines to guide us too often we become lost in the maze?
Like children we create absolutes to map our way through the world and so we define ourselves by what makes us different rather than what makes us the same. Our borderlines pervade our lives and while for each of us they are different, always, like children, they are erratic, imaginative, accident prone, and bleed easily.