So on Tuesday I was invited to take the Canadian Oath and become a Canadian citizen. Everyone around me and those at the ceremony were really ecstatic on their achievement. I received praised from many with even a celebration and decorations at work.
I know I should be more excited and proud but I just don't feel that way. Listening to the presiding Officer it is clear that my fellow immigrants taking the oath swam rivers, climbed mountains and dodged bullets just to get here. They have earned a new lease on life and a guaranteed future for their family. I am not saying I didn't struggle but my path was not that desperate. The faces around me showed appreciation that was sincere and grateful. Why was I not?
I love South Africa and have always been its staunched defender. Now I was to recite allegiance to a queen and her family successors. I was to bow down to a monarchy and lay my life down for this woman that lives in another country. As I am writing this it sounds even more absurd. This proclamation is so vital that the official at the ceremony gives you a light Canadian warning that if the officials do not see the oath coming out of your mouth they will not confirm your citizenship so keep your mouth moving or better luck next year. I struggle with this and continue to do so. The only way I stayed on course was my wife's voice in my head saying "don't do anything stupid today just think about the passport" I will redeem myself by saying that if they asked me to go down on my knees I would of told everyone to fuck off! I already declined to put my hand on the bible.
If any of you have read the long walk to Freedom you will know that when the comrades were banned, exiled and harassed some made the decision to leave SA and live in supporting countries while studying and supporting the movement from abroad. Madiba stayed behind and was known as the Phantom as the security police were desperate to catch him while he travelled at night visiting towns and villages. He did not want to leave but instead fight along side the people. For his bravery he spent 27 years behind bars with many others who did the same. So for me to admit that I abandoned my country is harder than you can believe but also not entirely true.
On my life's journey I have found myself leaving the most beautiful city in the world because I was in a dark soul destroying hole that I dug for myself. How I went from death to travelling the world is something only the Lord that I don't believe in knows. Circumstance and lots of luck got me travelling the world for the last 10 years. I can only say that good thinks happen to nice people who have no sense to look after themselves. So travelling led to love and then to a promised land that was beyond understanding. At least I came here on a
cruise ship and not a slave ship.
Its my fourth year in this foreign land and the world makes sense. Money is abundant, Futures are guaranteed and safety is not a concern. As much as I love Capetonians who are the only people in the world that understand me I falter in my resolve. Even though my jokes are not appreciated or sarcastic tone always taken out of context, even though I my words and sayings are misinterpreted and my disdain for following rules is frowned upon I do not want to give up this normalcy I found myself in. The most heartbreaking dilemma is that my family and friends are in a place called home and now I am the guy who visits every 3 years.
I am proud that I could set my family up in one of the best countries in the world. That is all that matters.