Migrations

The only wonder is that we have not been able to accept migrations as natural and inevitable – we stand up to them, putting up picket fences, boundaries and pushing migrants back with batons and holding them away with electric wires. The ebb and flow of humanity is the nature of life on earth, and your notions of nationalism merely a reflection of limited memories, if I am to be kind, and of greed, if I am to be brutal. Fear and Greed was the mantra taught on Wall Street, the movie said so too. Our lives and our boundaries are dominated by fear and greed. We have clawed this piece of the earth for ourselves, fashioned it just in our image, and the shape of our aspirations and we will protect it with everything we have. Nothing can come in and change it – so what if all the world is about change. We will defy nature, and its people, for we claim our air. We shall not let it flow.

And yet, the land that you claim sovereignty upon has more tales to tell than yours. You sit here today claiming its history and rights, maybe not even knowing how you came upon it. Do you know the stories of what wave of migration brought you here? Were you amongst those that traveled to conquer but stayed to love? Or were you amongst those who were left behind, too weak to move and not worth the trouble? Were you amongst those carried along with the glamour of the day, seeking new land and new hope? Were you a nomad, a gypsy, did you call yourself so? Did you know where you would rest, did you even know your quest? Or did you just follow the gold, the greed leading you on? You were not a migrant, surely, as you moved.

Maybe you moved along rivers, your people spreading out as prosperity reigned. Maybe your people crossed mountains again and again, driven by arraign. Prove it, prove that you belong. Prove that you belong to victory not defeat. Was it victory or defeat that carried you through, away and far past the land your grandparent’s grandparents called their own. Did you know them? Or their stories? Did the stories you read to your children carry tales of the land you left? Or did they merge with the land you laid your head rested upon. Our stories traveled, and moved along the globe. The stories tell the tale of how we moved. We are the dust of the stories that migrated.

Your food, your language, your stories, your clothes – none of these are truly yours. They come from the migrations of the past. Your gene pool is not a pool. It is a part of the great ocean of humanity. We do not differ in our genes as much as we differ in its expression. We are, as we know, brothers and sisters under our skin. We are one species. Each time we raise our voices and swords against each other, we mirror each other. We rise to protect our land against others, just as others had risen to welcome or fight us when we arrived. We may not remember the stories of our coming but our fears do remember. Our fears remember what it was like to be in front when we moved to the next unknown, and our fears remind us of the promises we made never to let it rise again. Each time you hear yourself speak about ‘them’ any them, listen carefully. You will hear your fears speak, for these fears have traveled far, they have traveled with you in your migrations. Wave upon wave, the story of mankind is the story of migrations – both in the sending and the receiving.

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