Thursday, March 5, 2009

Might apply to you

Source of map
If you're from any one of these countries highlighted in yellow (Commonwealth) then this may be of interest to you.

(Trinidad & Tobago and other islands are there, but are too small on this map to be seen easily).

It so happens that I have two maps one day after the next on my blog. As I wrote in a comment on yesterday's post ... (I don't know if anyone picked up on it) ... I had altered the map I included there yesterday. By being denied a visa, that entire landmass on this one globe of ours is currently inaccessible to me and therefore does not exist ... at least as far as going there stands.

The irony is that it exists in my life in so many other ways ... whether I can go there or not and whether I like it or not.

The landmass I cannot currently go to is all over my radio, all over my TV, all over my computer screen/internet, all over my e-mail (friends who live there), all over products I may buy, use or consume, all over my country (clothing, attitudes, US companies/businesses, even accents!! Trinis - e.g. our local radio announcers - talk in American accents when on air and slip back into Trini when off) ...

It is everywhere around me/US (pun intended).

Ironic that the very initials are US, yet in many ways it chooses to be so exclusive and excluding. In my vocabulary the word 'US' is embracing, warm, inclusive.

Yesterday I was one of a few in a creative meeting with two women who have come down from New York ... to explore/discuss possible future work and development of creative content and programming. Normally this would not strike me, but as I drove to the meeting ... I thought "Wow. Coming into 'my' country without needing a visa and, more so, to explore work-related issues" ... (something that most 'visa' people don't want foreigners to do in their country).

This whole visa thing has stirred up many thoughts and feelings in me. (Thoughts and feelings which extend beyond "the visa" - so it's not like I'm going on about "not getting the visa". That's not the point any more). Since childhood, something that has always been a personal subject of contemplation and inner exploration for me (on many levels and in many areas) has been the sense of belonging ... the question of where I 'belong', where I 'fit' - personally, geographically, creatively, lifestyle ... the list goes on. It's not easy to explain ... and maybe I don't have to.

But ... in time to come, it is something I will explore - and may share (or not) - since it's on my mind.


Samantha said...

Ironic huh......
we wear, we eat, we speak, we want to be US.

Been there done that..and have no desire to actually......they are boring, culturally........the feel of the US is so mundane. Their country lacks rythm, spirit.....

But I hear you otherwise

Lynn Cohen said...

This kind of thing makes me feel like apologizing for my country.
And I am Pissed that you could not get the visa as I had gotten excited at the prospect of meeting up in person HERE in the US.
US were to be together!
US could have taken photos together.
US could have played together.
US could have taken YOU to OUR haunts in SF.
I am disappointed
and it does not make sense to me.

As for what you are also thinking, feeling...and "might share"...well, I hope you do as I am interested. I care.


Anonymous said...

The visa issue always gets my back up. I used to work in tourism and it drove me crazy that some islands allowed US citizens to enter only with their driver's licence. And then we have to jump through hoops to go visit our family and friends. I haven't had a US visa since moving to France, but since my sister and some very close friends live there I will probably have to sit through the humiliating experience again at some point. Just thinking about it makes me hyperventilate!