A Facebook friend posted a music video by Izzy Kamakawwiwo’ole. Brudder Izzy was singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Izzy is/was a proud Hawaiian who died too young. His songs exude a pride of native place. So I’ve been sitting here listening to his album Facing Future and thinking of a Hawaii that I’ve never experienced and never will. Even if I moved to Hawaii in the morning I’d always be nothing more than a transplant. My deep roots are someplace else.
I think that I’ve been searching my whole life for my roots. They are not in Maryland, not really. My family has been here for a few generations, but that’s about it. They’re not in Virginia where my forefathers settled in the late 17th century. This is some other man’s land.
This land is far more my partner’s than it is mine. Not Maryland, but in the southwest. As much as I’d like to settle down in his native land, he wants no part of it. I’d be no less of a transplant than I’d be in Izzy’s Hawaii. I’m not a Navajo, I’m an Englishman. Further back I’m a Celt.
My family has been in the “New World” so long that I would probably be a transplant on my native soil. I’m a wandering soul, longing for a place to rest. I look to the east, but it seems too far east. I practice a faith of India, Tibet, Japan. I’ve run from Christian roots that I’ve never really understood or that really never understood me. Yes, it is the gay thing raising its inconvenient head. Do gay folks ever really have a home, roots? They have to be deeper than the clubs and camp that I’ve long ago outgrown. Somewhere Over the Rainbow there has to be a Wonderful World. Right?