I am the foreigner
And one can see that
I do not speak
Just like you
I come from the beetroot
Where the aubergines get purple at dawn
They are like me
We were shifted without our roots
The original title of this post was “Am I depressed or just a migrant?” but the remembrance of feeling the same way I do feel now when I was in Brazil led me to rethink my words.
Migrating is a condition, a shared lonely experience, a challenge for anyones self-esteem. However, I feel that once you’re a foreigner, you’ll always be, no matter where you are. If back in Brazil now, I wouldn’t be an immigrant anymore, but I’d still feel like a foreigner as I felt before.
When you leave for your own will and not for “major” reasons – as war or natural hazards – the thought “how would it be like if I had never moved?” or “what if I come back?” are like small bugs following you around from time to time. Then you remember that there was a reason to leave so much behind. Life starts to be a matter of balancing reasons.
In times like these, I go back to “Cavalo”, music album by Rodrigo Amarante, that used to be my company during my first foreigner crisis.
Rodrigo Amarante was guitarist in one of the most famous bands of the 2000s in Brasil, Los Hermanos. When the band came to an end, he moved to Los Angeles. He went from huge celebrity to unknown small artist and it took some years until he released his first album solo, “Cavalo”, that has this in-between identity issues as one of the big topics.
Being a multilingual album, Cavalo brings a half (sometimes not) – understanding experience. Something so ordinary living abroad. Words cannot afford the meaning of some everyday conversations.
The songs are melancholic but beautiful, like some lonely nights in Weimar. They remind me that to accept my necessity of movement, though painful, is vital.