by Shaun Michael Samaroo
My life is a metaphor. Since I was born in the late '60's to now, ever the past 30-odd years, I have lived as an enigma to myself, and to the world. But my life is a metaphor of what? This is the question that dogs me into a state of near futility.
I hope that by writing this I can move closer to decipher what this metaphor is about.
For example, let's take today. Here I sit in front of this too-bright computer screen in a cold, dark but very nice and clean basement apartment in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Everything around me is comfortable except the semi-darkness, the chilly air, and a slight gnawing hunger in my stomach.
Though I am at peace with myself and the world, I have this huge crisis hanging over my head. Immigration Canada has forced me into a kind of underground living for the past week, as I decide where in the world to settle and build my future as a global citizen. To continue living in Canada, I have to battle with Immigration Canada to become a permanent resident here. I have neither the money nor the will for such a fight.
I am not at all motivated to spend my days pursuing the economic dream of the Canadian life. I would much rather live in the Caribbean and write books. But then how do I make my living there? How do I feed and house and entertain myself? How do I live at peace while I research and study the human condition so I can write with depth and innovative originality?This is the dilemma that I face today.
And today is a microcosm of my life as a human being living here and now in this year 2006.
Facing this momentous decision that will shape my destiny and destination from tomorrow onwards, I can only turn to what my heart truly desires - to write.
The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in Toronto has failed me, miserably. I have a great big grouse against the leadership of the Church, because for the past ten years I have tentatively reached out to pastors and people who pronounce to the world that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Saviour, but my grasping hands have found nothing.
I grasp at straws. These people give me straws to cling to, and desperate as a drowning man, I cling to whatever they offer me, but find that I still sink. They let me go, some even crying, but none jumping into the raging stormy waters of life to risk all for my rescue.
The kindness and love that the Bible promised me that the Church leaders would give me never became the truth. Yet I feel no bitterness - to them or to Christ. I feel only a profound sadness.
For if this is the best that humanity has to offer each other, if this is the promised warmth and comfort of the loving hands of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, if this is the material comfort and blessings of a country like Canada, then the global population is in a terrible state.
The human condition in this the Knowledge Age of technological wonder is desperately doomed. I stand here in shocked sadness.
I stand at the junction of highest peak to which the human being can aspire. And what I see, what I have found, makes me weep in frustrated disappointment.
My life is a metaphor of the failings of human civilization. I feel this deep in my bones - this great big disappointment. When I was a child I dreamed. As an adult in the prime of my life I face the dread of a world order that reaches not into the glories of wondrous achievement, but towards dark clouds of despair.
What do I do? I have decided to write about it, to document my life as a metaphor and a warning and a prophetic cry to my fellow human beings. We can do better. This should not be not the life of a person living in one of the best societies ever to exist in human history..
A person, my Bible tells me, is created in the image of God. Created to create, to "take dominion of the earth, to subdue" and cultivate and tame nature for my benefit, for my joy and peace and the flourishing of my creative potential. I am a spiritual being trapped in the material world. I am being limited to live as an economic slave. And this my writing is a protest, my beating against the cage walls that trap me into the world of the economic imperative.
I am a metaphor of this raging perpetual warfare between my innate creative potential, and the masters who trap me in this little space, demanding that I be their economic slave and move only under their terms and conditions.
My foreparents faced this terrible weight a couple hundred years ago, and boarded a British ship in colonial India to seek answers in a far-away place called Guiana where promises of El Dorado lured Sir Walter Raleigh. My foreparents moved and battled their way through the harshness of British imperialism. They procreated, as they were born to do. My grandparents still live on land those foreparents bent their backs in hard labour to own.
But my parents got fed-up of that life, and moved on, looking to the promises of a new civilization under an independent nation.My generation saw the dream of my parents dissolve into a grave nightmare, and we ran.
We migrated to the American Dream. Only, Gatsby was a myth.
Copyright @2006 Shaun Michael Samaroo