Wednesday, April 18, 2012

THE LIMITS OF SELF-TRANSFORMATION


Of course, it was open to me to make adjustments. there was nothing, in principle, to stop me from changing my game, from taking up the cow0shots and lofted bashes in which many of my teammates specialized. But it was, I felt, different from them. they had grown up playing the game in floodlit Lahore car parks or in rough clearings in some West Indian countryside. they could, and did, modify their batting without spiritual upheaval. i could not. More accurately, i would not change– which was uncharacteristic of me. Coming to America (I'd done so willingly, though not primarily on my own account: it was Rachel who'd applied for an opening with the New York office of her firm, and I who'd had to look for another job), I'd eagerly taken to new customs and mannerisms at the expense of old ones. How little, in the fluidities of my new country, I missed the ancient  clotted continent. But self-transformation has its limits; and my limit was reached in the peculiar matter of batting. i would stubbornly continue to bat as I always had, even if it meant the end of making runs.

Joseph O'Neill, Netherland 

What an insanely accurate description of what being an immigrant feels like?! You are constantly pushing forward and pulling back, renegotiating the boundaries of self-transformation. For me, food is a constant battle-ground of the sort described above and for the most part, I have let myself be changed. BUT even after 13 years of living in the States, I still do not let lettuce and tomatoes cohabitate on my plate. I think it's a Bulgarian thing, not putting tomatoes with your green salad. Greeks seem to not have a problem with it. But it looks and tastes wrong to me on such a fundamental level that I have ceased making any attempts to understand or explain way. It's just not done. If I am at a dinner party or an event and I'm presented with such salad, I will eat it but only to be nice.

Source: IMAGE

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