outwait outrun outwit


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Reading Edwidge Danticat's The Dew Breaker last night, I considered the little and big violences my parents had left behind as refugees. What does it mean to come from a place you can't return to? In our family-time together, there was a silence around the past, a gap made by our inability to speak each other's language in a way that would convey the right sense of things, events, people. We could not translate our individual sense of being foreign or strange in this country, the one they arrived in, and the one I was born in. Eventually, my parents got comfortable, while I, restless and unsatisfied, left. Now, as I get older, as I settle into my skin, as I feel more at home in Ireland than I ever did in California, that place I can't return to, I start to understand who they are, if never where they came from, because of our shared experiences of making family and home wherever we could.


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