Being in America I felt pretty angry and helpless a lot of the time. I was there as a guest, with no space and not a lot of small change. I was holding back getting involved in anything because, I realize in retrospect, because I didn’t want to connect and get stuck in a country that I don’t understand. I mean they do things like pour fracking water into rivers.. What crazy people would do this?
Don’t even get me started on all the insane rhetoric logic or lack thereof that gets prime airtime in this country. And this wild patriotism, it all astounds me.
As does the apparent lack of terms like solidarity, social care, social security nets… I don’t really understand how people live there. Is everybody blindly stumbling around, is this why the media is so dominated by the mantra of: “live for the moment, be happy”, because you better be happy now because ultimately we are all somewhat doomed with threatening poverty in age etc…
Well. I don’t know. I simply don’t get it. I could do with a book that explains America as it is today to me.
I had built up quite some amount of resentment towards being stuck in crazy living arrangements, towards this uncertainty about what on earth is going on, where I would be living next and how it could all work out. So I came back to England to catch my breath. Actually I am no more secure financially here, but I feel more in control as I have longstanding friendships here as well as my own personal Art Museum as well as my life-time collection bookshelf full with a thousand books.
I have had a chance to begin to decompress and begin to heal from the trauma of permanent sleep depravation. And now I am starting to forget the traumatic and crazy living experiences that had me so much in inward hysteric fits. Now I remember what I liked as the other things fade.
I love the delusional optimism which can not be based on anything factual aside from the extraordinarily beautiful geography of California. I miss the coffee fascists who insist on pouring a coffee a certain way, that only this way can be perfect, while in the meantime I notice that the beans are burnt or the type of bean that any self-respecting Italian would reject as sour and undrinkable. I had a lot of fun watching the bearded baristas pour coffee in meticulous, laborious, slow, slow ways. I miss the rawness of life that in all it’s cruel, selfish individualism still presented something honest about the status that we assign to humans these days, namely commodities which are assigned the value that correlates with their bank balance. Power apparently is represented by the accumulation of a fictional measure of wealth. When I really think about it then it is quite an eye opener in general. Well nevertheless, I wish they didn’t have to be on the streets, but I miss the homeless people of the Bay Area. It used to break my heart, time and time again, each time I would pass somebody who deserved respect but still had nothing but a shopping trolley of possessions, each time I would feel so sad and nauseous with that disbelief that America could be so brutal to it’s own people. America wears a very amicable, jovial coat, but inside can be a cold, hard face that doesn’t give much kindness.
Well, I miss the wide streets, the stupid distances between places, the amazing choices of greens in the fresh produce aisles of Berkley Bowl or even the more pricy Rainbow Groceries..
I wish it all wasn’t so far away, maybe that was one of my key points of resentment: being on the other side of the planet when my books and Art work were 7000 and more miles away. It was tough to be so far from home. I can’t even imagine how hard that must have been in a time when it meant that the journey home could be measured in years, not days.
The colour of the air in Oakland and San francisco, I miss that. I know air has no colour, but I like to imagine that it did. For the time being I am filled with endless relief that I am back in England, but we already started thinking about my return to America. Via Asia.. Yes.. But maybe I need another blog for that? Or maybe I should just change the name of this one..
What next? Will I keep my Green Card and build a life in America?
what would you do?