Recovering what I have lost has occupied now, the second half of my life. Since I was 27 or so, the reclamation of my Puertoricanness has been a journey of internal contradictions and external obstacles. Still, it is fine. It has been a search well-executed if marginally planned. I realize the urge to resist both idealization of something vague and the dismissal of something innate are both inadequate solutions. And at a certain point, I will admit to the urge to transcend all labels, my own deeply felt or adopted ones as well, being influenced as I am by the Buddhist philosophy about no permanent self identity. But such is in a higher realm than I am concerned with here, these days, and I accept that in my social life, I am in need of anchors. Puerto Rico is one such anchor. Why? Because it has been “there” inside me, part of my cultural heritage, since I was born. There´s more to me, certainly, and other parts with depth and hold over me. But that one was there first, given to me with love and all the warmth of my mother and father and family and it means more now to me than any accident of birth in the United States. And that is where I am exploring these days…


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