Today is a poignant and bittersweet day for me. It marks the 6-month anniversary of my deportation from England.
We’re hoping the Home Office will approve my application for ‘leave to remain as the family member of a settled person’ within the next couple of months. Please cross your fingers for me. Six months is an awfully long time to be away from home. I haven’t lived with Sean in the nearly 4 months since we’ve been married.
I’ve been reading Ovid’s Tristia which is a source of great consolation. I’ve surrounded myself with a ‘family’ of uprooted people who have written about their exile and otherness. Great consolation.
I’m very much aware that my dislocation is nothing compared to the plight of refugees, which is one of the reasons I’ve kept quiet about it. I would never, ever pretend to suffer as they do. My grief is a faint, distant echo, that’s all. Enough to give me great gut-sinking empathy for their plight, more than I would normally have been able to comprehend in my privileged life.
But today….today I feel like celebrating these six months!
How does one celebrate uprootedness, unknowing, and dislocation? I’m absolutely compelled to celebrate, to cry and curse and dance and hold my breath and mark the remaining days on my flesh.
A special thanks to my dad and my daughters for being such tremendous supports as I’ve ranted and raved and cried and thrown glasses of wine across rooms. And Sean, my angel on this earth. You guys are the only ones who truly know the devastation and the growth this has caused.
I’m thankful, this trial has made me a better person. I’m also livid as hell.
I want to send a huge thanks to my friends in Florence for welcoming me with open arms and making this situation bearable.
I can’t wait to plant these roots.
The photograph is by Jorge Mayet, a Cuban exile living in Mallorca.