October 2014 Archives

Living in limbo


casgrain.jpgI started from scratch three times in Canada, the way it goes in fairy tales. Tales are important to mention here, because I've always loved storytelling, and it was the idea of becoming a writer that first pushed me to leave the comforts of my home and my country.

When I arrived in Vancouver to go to Writing School, I thought I had it all figured out: I was going to write about important, universal things, in English, the universal language. I knew nothing about Canada. During that first year, from my basement room and venturing only to campus and the IGA, Canada was a blandness of wet weather, sameness of landscape and architecture, ultra-leftist views and annoying speech intonation. My first reaction to living abroad was a total refusal to integrate. I try to remember how I must have been then, lonely and scornful, judging everyone from my corner in workshops. But what Vancouver gave me, aside from a different perspective of the world, was the freedom of becoming unmoored. Once you pick up and leave, you see how easy it would be to just do it all over again.