I am going to be part of a book and I sort of can’t believe it.
The project is called Los Otros Dreamers, and it reflects on the lives of those who’ve made their home in the U.S. but have had to return to Mexico for one reason or another. I wish I could explain it in a better way, and I feel like my words are cheap when describing these situations, because really, how do you open yourself up over and over again? How do you open others?
I started this blog as a way to anchor myself. Every time I speak of my departure- of having to leave my home, of not attending my sister’s wedding, of not yet meeting my youngest niece and nephew- I feel myself swimming in an endless ocean of emotions. Rage, and fear and hurt, and hurt, and hurt.
Misery is a strange thing- they say it loves company. But it’s conflicting being in the company of others- others who have shadows that haunt, or are fading.
And yet… it is comforting. There is comfort in knowing that you have something in the fight- that it is not just your shoulders pushing along, it is not just your back breaking, but that you have allies. You have people to hold you up when you feel like you can’t take it, and you have people going to bat for you. Not only that, but these friends- who open their homes, and their hearts and their cupboards- help you look at hard truths without judging the places you come from, or are wandering to.
So far, participating in this project has been a joyous thing. I am not alone- I am not alone! Just sit, and think of that. If the few friends who sometimes read this can imagine it, I ask you for a minute to think that there are other people who don’t have friends or family near them anymore because of the broken immigration system. People who just have shadows where friends and lovers used to be.
Things need to change. And how does your help do this? It helps other voices be heard. They cease to be echoes on a mountain and acquire pitch, and melody and rhythm. They become real, just by virtue of being known.
Awareness is an important step in this debate. Immigration reform takes a different meaning when you look at the different faces, and see the different realities of what an undocumented immigrant is. All the times I heard that I wasn’t like “other Mexicans” seem so ridiculous after knowing Moises, or Vanessa, or Hector. They are not like me, and they are not like anyone, but we share that longing and senselessness together. We are one in being lost, and finding ways to being found again.
This book is not just a collection of stories, and of images- not for me anyway. It is a gentle walk towards finding a new place to grow, a plea to stop this senseless before it happens to others. In what world is living somewhere a crime? How does that even make sense? And how do we keep doing this to each other?
With this in mind I ask you to please, let others know. Take the echoes, and make them into songs. Spread awareness; buy the book, share the video, talk to others and prevent the shadows that are occupying spaces in other peoples lives. This is real. This can change.