i am not a Bermudian that has known many homes. my one attempt at living overseas - studying at McGill in Montreal - ended after a year of too many bitter, ginger beer-less cocktails and an equal number of failed exams. during the decade after abandoning my studies, ever so often i’d fall down a crab burrow of researching a place, and making plans to create a new home.
San Diego - and a public policy programme.
Bainbridge Island - i attended a retreat here, an island off the coast of Seattle.
Arkansas - my father’s home and my birthplace, but a place i know so little about.
Montreal - for a second try.
Brooklyn - because it is mecca.
but no tickets were purchased, no leases signed. i was still, just, ‘from Bermuda’.
many of my fellow islanders, though, are of multiple places, jumping off this rock to roam around the world, moving between institutions and offices, following curled-tongued lovers to new cities, taking trains to the final stop and moving in nearby. and with this roaming, for some, there is a grappling with identity.
to tell strangers we are ‘from Bermuda’ is sometimes the beginning of a conversation we wish to escape. so, many choose to massage the lilt out of their mouths and adopt the foreign slang of assimilation. they quiet the cahow. still the waves while they bide their time across an ocean. choose to forget what salt smells like on the air until it is time, if it ever becomes time, to return to the familiar.
And, for some, whether nomads or rooted, there comes a moment when this familiar becomes sacred, the regular, revered.
the Spring issue of Still Vexed explores these journeys.
of forgetting, and remembering.
of the path between ‘from Bermuda’ and ‘of Bermuda’.
and of what it means, in all that it means, to come Home.
/ / Kristin
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