November 8, 2009

Exercise 2: Archiving the Alien

 Part 1: Write down a childhood memory

I am in the 4th or 5th grade, living in Kirchberg, Luxembourg. I am my best friend Vicki's house, and we are having a sleep over. Each of us are in our own seperate twin bed, with the covers over our heads. Our feet are pointed straight up, making a tent with the blanket. We are playing space aliens, and these are our space ships. We are each in our own little tent world, and we excitedly communicate with each other about shooting down UFOs and making spectacular landings. It is so fun to engage our imaginations together. I want to craft a consol for my space craft out of cardboard.

I feel so bonded in the moment to my "American friend", after feeling like such an outcast at the European School. Vicki's mother makes a big deal out of bringing us hot chocolate, but my mom's hot chocolate is better. I am so aware of how old her parent's are - twenty years older than mine. Vicki has a grown up brother that she never sees. I love going to Vicki's house because she has all this "American" stuff like Barbies and Archie comics. She's bored of them, but I am fascinated and want to play dolls all the time, even though I am "too old". Vicki's mom collects porcelain dolls dressed in Victorian clothing that we are not allowed to touch.

 Part 2: How does this memory relate to today?

This childhood memory relates to my feelings of being alien, the foreigner, of feeling alienated from my community over the last few years. It relates to this moment in terms of my searching for true companionship - that feeling of being in collusion with another human being. We are each in our own craft, our own body, but we are communicating, creating a consensus reality. I muse on the words communion, come union, and communication.

It relates to my feelings of looking for acceptance, of where do I fit in, of no longer feeling like the outcast. I relate it to longing for family, for hot chocolate moments and the creating of traditions. It's a longing for belonging.

This memory serves to remind me of the feelings of "here is someone who gets me, who understands me and encourages me, who supports my wild imaginings. Someone who really wants to play with me." It relates to me being open to what new relationships bring - new toys! New games. More fun. The joy of sharing. Indeed, shared beliefs, shared joys, shared laughter.

It relates to my search for a new best friend.