Tuesday, December 7, 2010

why i paint what i paint #11

On Sunday night I had the opportunity to go on my local Public Radio Spanish Language program to talk about my work and why I am doing it. It is two days later and I realize that I entered into (in a very small way), the immigrant experience. Oh, and I was a lucky immigrant because I got to take my very supportive husband and my very supportive Cuban friend with me! Anyway, we traveled through the darkness, to the radio station at 10 P.M. and entered into an alien land, a land where everyone but us seemed to really know the customs and procedures. They were speaking a rapid-fire language, where I could catch only a word or two...here and there. It was all very foreign, frightening and disorienting. I could tell that the interviewer was most interested in talking to my Cuban friend because she spoke his language and was easier to talk to. I didn't blame him at all because I understood the desire to feel comfortable, included, and at home. Afterward, my husband pointed out that, not only was I trying to function in a foreign environment, but I that I naturally prefer a private work environment to a public arena. How many new arrivals in a foreign country would prefer to remain in their own countries, with their own/known customs, languages, food and family? How incredibly brave of them to venture forth into unknown (often hostile and dangerous) territory because they need to help their loved ones. I was a lucky immigrant. I was chaperoned, welcomed, and safe. I lived to tell my story. And my journey was, mercifully, oh so brief.

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