Saturday, July 12, 2008

Feeling Buddist

What did Budda do ? he sat under a tree and pondered, thought about all of creation and and people and actions and behaviours etc.. etc..., the observations and teachings he came up with were pretty insightful.

The vacuume created to clear your thoughts and make these insights can be attained through either absolute calm or absolute chaos, depends on the person I guess.

In my case, I think best in chaos, when I'm in a calm environment I can't think or concentrate, I tend to fidget and seek distraction, very much like an iranian kid I once knew who took 8 pills of caffine for a night out and ended up at home, with eyes as big as saucers, climbing walls and laughing in a wierd way.

But I digress.

I've lived in this country for 10 and a half months. I've been a bum, a project leader, a supervisor, an australian, an iraqi, a whistle blower, a husband.

Lately though I've been getting bussier and bussier with work, the bussier I get, and the more people I interact with, I go back to thinking about my identity.

I saw a friend of mine from Australia who was transitting through, he asked me how long I was staying and I replied that my time here was temporary and that sooner or later I was coming back home.

At the moment I said that word "home" I started thinking, really ? Sydney is my home ? a place I only spent less than three months at ? What makes that city my home ?

Well for one thing, my family is there, the only family I know, I can be myself at, I know I'll be accepted no matter how many speeding tickets I get.

What about Iraq ? well as I mentioned before even if I was to go to Iraq and speak the only arabic dialect I know and eat the food I'm familiar with and understand the only culture I was brought up in, I would not fit in. I would not feel a part of them and they would certainly not accept me as a part of them, for many reasons, too numerous and complex to discuss now.

New Zealand ? I really like NZ and I feel it was the place where I had my transition from childhood to adulthood, I lived alone, I lived with family, I made friends and failed exams and passed in many more exams. Then again NZ was like a small town I waited to leave to go to bigger things, like Melbourne.

Melbourne is an amazing city, the people, the places, the opportunities and the institutions are unique to that city. If I had a choice I would bring my family and live back in Rowville, Melbourne Australia.

However I can't really say that this is my home, it just happens to be a place I love and feel at home in, but I havn't stayed there for long enough to genuinely call it my home.

There are two possible solutions to this.

1- I have no identity, I'm like that animal that changes color to blend with whatever background it's at.

2- I have a very complex invisible set of identities; I'm Muslim, I'm of arab iraqi background with an NZ citizenship living in Australia, currently living in the UAE.

That sounds like it describes the stages of my life rather than my identity. It is however what defines my outlook on life, my accent, my behaviour and the the clothes I wear.

Recently my wife has been dressing me, so I guess that's another layer in the onion skin that is my life.

Finally, are you asking yourself "why is this guy talking about himself?" ? Well it's not for my ego, it's because there are hundreds of thousands of people like me. We break down barriers and dilute stereotypes. We're the minoroty that slips through the cracks. If there is any hope for holding the world together, it's us- the human bridge between cultures, relegions and languages.


Brenda said...

I picked up a couple of interesting points from your post. 1) I never realized anyone could think better in chaos! I guess I'm so completely at the other end of the spectrum. 2) I'm so glad the world has individuals like you who "break down barriers and dilute stereotypes." I think you do have an identity -- you definitely have a unique voice. What you don't have is a label. Or not a convenient one anyway. I see that as a good thing! I think that any of us who step away from the labels can join you in becoming the bridges that this world needs! Great post!

Ninnevah said...