BY DAVIDMURRAYLAW@GMAIL.COM

Identities

 

 

 

 

 

Sonia Delaunay, Contrastes Simultáneos, 1913

Museo Thyssen, Madrid

 

She was born in Moskva

to a Jewish mama

and a Muslim papa

from Bashkiria.

 

To identify herself as Soviet

was a way to not let

issues of identity

get in the way of her entity.

 

With the collapse of the USSR

to her Soviet persona she said au revoir -

later resettled in Canada

she struggled to find another anima.

 

She came to accept the identity of her mother,

embracing her Jewishness, and to discover

herself as a champion of Israel -

a decision anything but lineal.

 

                      *                     

 

Her husband was born in Montreal

for him the Canadian world was too small

he emigrated to Europe three times

ever searching for new paradigms.

 

He kept his national document

but thought of relinquishing it many a moment

living in one or the other place

well distanced from Canadian space.

 

                        *

 

Their son is theoretically a Jew

but even as this he well knew

he never saw himself this way

rather a Russian, he would say.

 

He now has two passports

soon there will be three

this will give him and his family

unparalleled freedom and mobility.

 

                       *

 

I will fight to the end

to defend

an individual’s right

to an own identity

however they may define it.

 

Most have only one

no one has but none

yet many have more:

we cannot ignore

that this is a rising vector of our times.

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