Lunch is a time for the King to survey garden business.
Reading about the South American children stranded between one border and another, I recognize the jagged edges of their lives. Too much thinking and ponderizing is apt to cut into the responsibility of weeding and tending.
I let the lettuce bolt.
Being born in Eastern Europe and raised in Alabama provides an upbringing in which the rules of the road are always in transition. The here and now is continuously juxtaposed against the here and there. The verb of me is hard to translate.
Truthfully, every immigrant and exile lives with the effects of displacement, separation, hunger, and anxiety. If the rules of the road are constantly fluctuating, this is because the the context itself shifts from one place to another, one country to the Other. Do we ask Pakistani Americans to feel like enemies of themselves?
Like a hobo on a high-speed train, the shifting contexts keep me from getting too comfortable- from sensing the ground beneath my feet as something solid, concrete, and reliable.
I'm okay with this insecurity. I've adapted. Learned to love gardening despite knowing the soil can never be certain- always more metaphor than material to me.
There are other things I've learned as an immigrant. Learn to upload photos and maintain a digital record of everything you treasure, everything you may be asked one day to leave behind. Plan to find yourself online one day should a panel of experts deem you unfit for the privilege of citizenship. Avoid getting attached to textures and landscapes.
Never look back because the looking will demand you tell a story of what you saw- and this story will not make sense. In context.