Monday, May 24, 2010

Border Crossing

In conversation about my reasons for departing Latin America I referenced plans to work on farms for the growing season. The concept of traveling north to seek employment in the vast fields of the US-A stressed transparent relevancy to the experiences of those in Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico, while poorly concealing my embedded privilege, stuffed in a rusty-colored REI backpack and stamped in the passport that legitimized my legal status as a worker. Despite a genuine connection -
i'm leaving to seek employment that pays - I congectured that in the States my work would be appreciated/validated because of birthright status as a citizen. Not true for those who rode the skins of trains and crossed black-shadowed deserts with their heavy expectations.

From California to North Carolina to New Mexico I trotted after the great wings of my carrier touched down from Mexico City. Following the criss-cross of interviews accompanied by consternation regarding geographical distance to family, the best opportunity for future grad school applications, supportive community, access to mentors and adequate pay, these feet settled in a rural community 15 miles from my childhood home.

It is this frontier, being rooted to the center of my history, which proves the most unfamiliar of all places I've been since leaving 10 years prior.

In the present morning, tan hands over white keyboard colored by rosy gashes; dirt woven between cracked lines in rough skin, a sore shoulder. All these physical markers I do not hide in formal company, documentation of self-satisfying labor and sacrifice. Underneath however wail grave doubts that the actual work is not condoned by people sitting at the table and reaping the organic-local reward. Here I include myself: I forgot the excruciating time it takes to weed onions, the wheel barrow blisters, irrigation races and sun burns just above the pant line from bending backside to the sun.

This present life choice finds me without requisite documents for traveling from the romantic ideals of land stewardship+feeding people good food+building community+changing the system+fighting for justice ---> to the practice of growing plants+making a living from one's labor+caring for the body+maintaining a life connected to others.

What one needs
culturally/socially/and personally appropriate means of acquiring it
and mobility to do so as a farmworker
will plausibly prove
more a circumference
than border.