For the first time in over 30 years I am returning to a part of the world that I have longed for, dreamed about, hated, adored. A part of the world that has excluded me, exiled me, and yet a part of the world that has never left me.
30 years ago, I left my land, my home to never go back. At the tender age of 12, I didn't know what it meant to leave your land behind. How can you leave your land, your home, that which has taken hundreds of years to make you, that which through time has become part of your blood, part of the scent of your body, part of the glow of your eyes?
For 30 years, I have gone back to my land, in my dreams only. For 30 years, the closest I have ever come to my land, has been when the fresh smell of earth rises with the first rain of the season, when I, like a disheveled peasant, run out to the street, to the yard, to the parking lot, to wherever I am, just to breathe in the smell of earth which takes me back to my land.
How odd that I am flying back now not to my land, but to the land just near it, where the likes of those who chose to exclude me now escape to get their Green card to the United States, my adopted homeland. How odd, that I, the excluded child, am now flying to Ankara to walk one of them thru the interview process.
He leaves by Choice.
I left by Force.
I was exiled.
He will take his personal belongings, his heirlooms, his memorabilia.
I took nothing! not even a fistful of dirt from my land.
The irony of it all is that I, the exiled child have now become the bearer of the torch, the same torch that lady liberty holds up high in her hand on Ellis Island.
I, the exiled child, who for 30 years, silently carried the pain of being a victim of Anti-Semitism am now going back as the liberator to my oppressor.
How so very powerful!!
How enormously and deliciously gratifying.......
On the Way to Ankara