Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Bridge Between Two Solitudes

Trying to belong but never quite belonging.

For many years now, trying to make sense out of life and struggling to figure out the purpose of life has been one of my quests; the human endeavour no doubt. Again this morning while pausing, writing and reflecting, I have been wondering how to define the years thus far in my journey.

My life is a story of east meets west, or west meets east, and that is how the years have unfolded. I cannot say why I was chosen to travel this route, but for most of my life I have known this was my calling. In retrospect, I can remember some signs and clues that were there along the way.

As I observe this world around me, I see a world that has been changing. I see a Canada and North America that have been changing, but having said this, I do not see a Canada that is ready for these changes. Oh yes, faint progress has been made, even sometimes reluctant acceptance of east-west relationships, but too often reality is that west and east are not really wanting doors to open, bridges to be built and change to come. This I can truly understand well.

Resistance to change is human nature. Forget self-righteous political correctness that would imply differently! That is nothing more than holding one's nose while swallowing something distastefully detestable and then in hypocritical self-delusion pretending that it tasted palatable. Political correctness is nonsense! Completely insincere nonsense!

Disliking change has always been a part of my own nature which I must struggle with, question searchingly and then my answers live with. My own feelings and racial prejudices are a part of what defines me and those which I must contend with. The invisible walls I occasionally confront at work vividly remind me about the “two solitudes” mentality that was and is so successfully pervasive in Quebec society. At the office where I am employed today the players are different but the subtle and not-so-subtle barriers are as distastefully familiar as life in Quebec was.

My own interracial marriage does not remove my prejudices from within me or resolve my problems with racism. Strangely enough the reason is that I do not see in my own marriage that she and I are racially different, yet we are undeniably different nonetheless.

So today I momentarily awakened, put together some of the pieces of that perplexing puzzle that have accumulated over the years, and realized that a part of my life is defined as a bridge; a bridge between west and east. Yes, at times a reluctant bridge, but nothing more and nothing less than a bridge… and believe me, bridges are walked all over from either end.

Written November 04, 2008
The Oddblock Station Agent

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