Picture the one person in the world you really wish were reading your blog. Write her or him a letter.
The funny thing is, if you were around to read it, this blog probably wouldn’t exist. That’s because it was born in China, a place where I would never have ended up if you were around.
For one thing, you wouldn’t have let me go. Well, we both know you wouldn’t have been able to actually stop me, but I wouldn’t have wanted to put you through the stress of having me be so far away. And that’s rich, coming from a daughter who spent half her life stressing you out from near and far.
I guess none of that makes any difference now. You’re not here, so the blog is. The truth is, I wouldn’t have gone off to China if you were around not because you would have objected to it, but because I wouldn’t have been stressed out, to put it mildly. I would have been ok. The world would have continued to make sense and the ground would still be under my feet.
That’s the thing, you see. I was just starting to see where you were coming from, to find my own footing as a woman through you. Only I was too late. So the next best thing I could think of doing has been to ricochet off to whatever, whomever and wherever can make things right again or seems to have the power to point me in the direction of figuring out where I come from. That’s where China, and this blog, come in. I’ve retroactively packaged it all in some sort of neat, fashionable blog with a “diaspora” framework and gotten away with it so far. If people only knew that it’s all just the collected nose-pickings of a soul adrift…well, it can be our little secret.
Nearly ten years ago you wrote to me that God had endowed me with a gift for writing and presenting and that I shouldn’t piss him off by doing nothing with it, even as you admitted that you never could fully grasp the stuff I wrote. For you, that was evidence of its being profound. You wouldn’t be my mom if it wasn’t. Of course, I beg beg beg to differ. I wouldn’t be your kid if I didn’t. But that’s another argument that neither of us is going to win, is it? There, we agree, even if it is to disagree. I always knew we would someday.
The important thing is, I always carry that email with me, as a printout or in my photo album. It is my beacon in the dark, that which reminds me of what I should do, what I can always do, to anchor myself – write. So what if it’s “profound”? Nobody’s perfect.
Your blind faith in me even back then, that actual note, is always on my mind every time I publish a post that I hope will mean something to someone out there, every time yet another post that I thought was brilliant goes uncommented-on, every time I decide to stop embarrassing myself and quit this foolishness masquerading as a blog.
You also told me to never rush for anything, that there’s time enough for everything. Anyone who has had to take a walk with me can testify that I’ve never forgotten that 🙂 But it keeps me steady in other ways too. It keeps me blogging away, week after week, in the hope that someday it will all sum up to an answer, even as I sense that all I will ever need to know is that I come from you.