Thursday, February 24, 2011

An American's anxiety

     In the movie Citizen Kane Charles Foster Kane speaks a line that I find very appealing, "I'm an American, I've always been an American."
     This quote always made me feel a terrific sense of profound belonging. I'm not talking about having the American dream or a flag waving, star spangled sense of tear-jerking, fourth-of-July national pride. I'm referring to the national identity one gets from them and their family having been born in a certain place with a certain culture and attitude. There is something I find not wholly undesirable about this part of my person.
     However, I have an overwhelming feeling, that if I am to ever discover the true essence of myself and thereby create something with at least a little beauty, I must first get rid of any notion that I am anything but myself and that any word-able identifiers apply to my soul in any way. 
     I think that I ought to listen to the intuition which formed the latter paragraph on the grounds that any sense of nationality inevitably leads one to estrange themselves from the part of humanity which does not reside in the plot of land which marks their country, but I do not believe I will ever be able to fully shake from my psyche the American label, at least not in this life.

1 comment:

  1. Well written. Your post sprung some inner thoughts of mine. I too have pondered the deep meaning of what makes up one's self and what changes it on its pathway through life to inevitably be what its destined to be. My life has come from to people that came from far away lands over seas. My mother from Peru and my father's family from England. I think to myself of my American heritage alongside my Peruvian and English and wonder, "have I therefore inherited the responsibility of forever respecting these cultures so close to home for me?" Of course without question, but should it stop there? I deep should I allow the branding of Latino-American to burn before I realize my foreign brothers and sisters have a deeper more significant brand that crosses all boarders. The brand of humanity. It's the sad truth that countless ones have let that native cultural brand burn over the brand that counts, the brand that reminds us of the invaluable relationship we have with one another. They have sung the song of war, shouting it above the song of peace. They have fought with closed eyes and bloody hands letting the hot metal press more and more into their prideful hearts leaving no room for charity. That I believe is something we need to evaluate of ourselves on a daily basis thinking of the labels that we may hope distinguishes us but really drives us farther away from a truly sublime state of world peace.
    A lot of this post has to do with the video This Divided State which is a must see. But involves issues that are happening right now as we speak.