I am currently studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain and at times I have found the transition to be rather difficult. This poem was written in the beginning of my time here. Personally I find the last line to be a very powerful image, but I would love to hear your comments on it.
A sorrow that spreads,
Grief at things lost.
A land not as expected.
Different smells, colors, sounds;
A cacophony of difference,
Desperately seeking oneself
Among a crowd of strangers.
Mouths that give voice to foreign tongues.
Eyes that cannot see beyond the surface.
The self slowly drowning in crashing waves of difference.
Dragging oneself to shore by clinging to rocks of familiarity.
A sound, a taste, a sight that reminds one of who one is.
Hands bleeding, skin broken from clinging with such force to these reminders of a far off shore.
What does one choose?
To let go and drown in difference?
Or to continue along the bloodied path to familiarity?
What is the harm in abandoning all
To drown in waves of sensations different from any experienced before?
To be eroded by this strange foreign ocean to a smoothness that matches the others?
Or is the path back to the shore the only one?
Is familiarity worth the broken bleeding body that would climb onto well-trod sands?
Perhaps the only choice is this half-life,
Treading water and clinging to rocks.
Familiar blood mixing with alien waters.