It is the firstborn reminding me of the tenor and temper and timber of my migrant pieces: you write with such passion but with that mushiness that I have come to absorb and now, now I am afraid, itay. I am beginning to write like you.
He is reminding me of how I write--but he is also accusing me as well of some kind of a literary influence-peddling, perhaps for the necessary dreamed-of quality of his work.
Now, the firstborn slays the image of a father who is safely enconced in his im/migramt perch, with all the toughening up acts that he has to do as an exile, he who has left hearth and home, kith and kin to permit his firstborn to discover the detours and directions of journeying in the road to writing and writing well.
I try to read something, over-read and under-read something between the firstborn's line.
No sweat, sonny, I know what you mean, I tell myself.
Come to exile and you will see why to be mushy with your thoughts is one means to a productive immersion in im/migrant life.
And to face the terrorizing truths of im/migrant life.
And when you recall such a life, you find the nuggets of redemption, morsels of relief from it all, this mushiness of wayward ambitions that get into your heart as you search for metaphors and meanings from memories that come in so profusely each morning that you dream of better times, the dream collapsing all times and bespeaking of the same dream of all our countrymen and countrywomen going away to find something somewhere else, a terrible truth with its terrible irony surprising and terrorizing us all.
Simply put, exile has a clear end: to be mushy.
There is no choice here, except if you refer to exiles who have no way to think their own thoughts.
Except if you refer to exiles who have been equipped with the skills to see through things, think things through, revisit the rough edges of the road, revaluate the beginnings of boundaries so that in that intersection between that which is possible and that which is impossible, difficulty is recognized.
The recognition of that difficulty reminds you of your duty to think of the means to recall each memory, recover each fabric that makes it, reconfigure its connection to a bigger memory, that memory of all exiles, of all peoples in the diaspora, of all migrants, of all immigrants.
A. S. Agcaoili
June 12, 2006