When your biological identity is shrouded in mystery, you have an evolving relationship with that missing piece of yourself.
As a baby who was separated by thousands of miles, continents, and language from the flesh and blood people from whom I had received my, well, flesh and blood–I came to understand that I was a character in a story. The creation of my family–my adoptive family and God. My flesh and blood were actually paper and ink. The certificates and naturalization papers that linked me to the people who were responsible for my survival.
The mystery first belongs to others. Like armchair Sherlock Holmes, people relish the speculation. You’re a curiosity. Like a puzzle, they fill in the blanks. Not to really know, but to prove how clever they are. They refuse to allow you to become a cold case. You have the honor of being cast as a character in a fairy tale or ancient Biblical story. Your mystery is others’ sport.
The problem is that it really isn’t. It’s your life.
As you come to understand its significance, you fight to retrieve the mystery from the hacks: Boy meets girl. Boy dumps girl. The inevitable broken heart that leads to nameless, birthday-less baby. Cliche story writers.
You write your own stories. Others label them fantasies. But it was your story that was interrupted. Not theirs. You attempt to find ways to protect the blank page that is you. You understand intuitively all the reflections that others have projected onto your mystery. Desires. Hopes. The rescue motif.
Both the past and future ultimately seem up to you. This both paralyzes and frees.
When you return to the country of the original mystery. Where the deep chasm first started as a tiny crack in two people’s relationship, you peer over the edge. The crevasse is much deeper and wider than you anticipated, but it is also somehow less engulfing in its proximity. You face the mystery. Conquering it by your very presence. Respecting its power.
At the same time, forces beyond your control, continue to prevent you from scaling the depths, really exploring what’s inside. the closer you get, the more you understand the impossibility of truly getting to the bottom. You are faced with the echo-y depths that are beyond reach.
Or if you are able to spelunker down because of a random reason or another, you become more aware of the intricacies of the mystery. The mystery is actually complicated by reality, not made more plain.
Yet, you wrap yourself even tighter in the mystery that has now defined you for so long. You are not willing to give it up. Even for reality.
You embrace the enigma. You guard it. You find others with transparent souls. Holograms. You put your hands through each other.
for Nichole. Thanks.