Tuesday, 15 March 2011

horns and halo effects

There is no doubt about it: I am strange to most people. But I like to think that it's not because I'm a weirdo, but more like being a stranger that makes me strange. I am nonetheless human. And believe unwaveringly in the notion of human potential as sacred.

As someone who's thought about and considered and read about the achievements of my fellow humans, I really do think there is something of a divine spark in all of us. Insight, creativity, capacity to transcend, the ability to learn, and the ability to dream... how else can I think but that?

But sometimes I feel isolated and alone. Over the years, I've become, if not a pariah, something as close to it as is possible. I have not feared locking horns with and challenging those who I see as ideologues, though this has largely been because I see no one else coming up to the plate. This has isolated me politically from my fellow Inuit and ideologically from the non-Inuit. It doesn't take much to turn someone into a demon. Most people who would never consider me as a potential team member do not know me personally.

I can live with that.

Granted, I have done much to earn my crazy-insane reputation. With the forced estrangement from one of my children I completely lost my head and bearings for a while. I wanted to die. I was a bad drunk and did things I'm not proud of, did things I don't remember but still feel shameful of. That's what alcohol does.

Having seen and did much devastation with alcohol, I have chosen (on my own) to not drink alcohol anymore. I haven't done anything crazy in a bit.

I do not buy into being a victim; and willing to own up to much. It's much better that way for living with oneself, the only self we have.

Having grown up in a small community, and having lost my sanity with the forced separation from my daughter, I feel sometimes that I've spent most of my life as an outsider, a stranger, to my family, to my community (my own kind and the broader world of work and thought). Being very human, that doesn't change the fact that I love my children, my grandchildren, my family and my fellow humans deeply.

In my best days, I feel exultant and spiritual about being human. The worst days are when I feel like I cannot communicate properly... Then, I feel like a stranger in a strange land; spiritually, psychologically, linguistically and culturally isolated.

Believe me, the best and the bad make who I am, and I do not resent any of it. I think I'm pretty ok with who I am. I just wish sometimes that people take the time to try and understand me as I try. I'm not being emotional, just plainly and simply expressing some doubt and angst we are all prone to feeling as human beings. I just want sometimes to feel my belongingness without nagging questions intruding. But I'm also thinking these types of questions never go away, do they?


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