I was really tempted to start the blog with the title of the TV series Who do you think you are , which recently featured Judge Rinder and his Jewish background. partly because of my own background ,which I will return to later and partly because of the way the phrase was used in my childhood. A very English usage: Who do you think you are to undertake that – ie what right have you ? So this blog is more :
How is that ?
What is my identity … post Brexit ( oh yes I am afraid that IS relevant) See purple text In a time of change for me – both familial and artistically (oh yes that is relevant too) and how does my companion Fudo fit in to this puzzle … My friend Susan (using her blog (The Belated Writer ) described her complex identity thus on working with family genealogy He was spared the more than discomfort (I would imagine) of having a possible relative who is gay, Jewish, left-wing and a practising Buddhist. My grandfather was Jewish,Now which is she ? You may already be trying to work out the answer without being able to ask her. Or you might ask me the same question
I am certainly not wholly Jewish even Jews think that – as ones Jewish identity is carried through the maternal line. ( click the blue Link to a Huffington Post article.) However Hitler thought me and my family were Jewish ‘enough‘ to be worth persecuting as Susan’s, and Nancy’s families. So how Jewish is enough to make it an identity ? Especially now let’s get away from the Is it a race or religion argument ?
Am I LGBTQ ? or whatever non standard sexual behaviour is described as this month. I recently went to a rather good poetry workshop led by Edward/ Edina Day ( Actor and Performer) where it was £10 if you were straight and less if you were LGBTQ or anything else non binary .. I paid £10 because the workshop was worth it and did not feel this choice made a mockery or a statement of my identity but How non binary did you have to be to get a discount … fancying it a little bit ? experimented once ? full genital contact but in the dark ? …
So am I left wing ? Once I belonged to the International Marxist Group and I have moved right since then but how far right ? Right enough to think
- a universal income might be a good idea ,
- that the Tory Government is killing people
- the pacifism I started my political journey with is still a good idea
- but I don’t think J. Corbyn is the JC of the political firmament.
Am I a Buddhist because I am a companion to the wonderful Red Fudo ? Although He is part of the Tibetan Buddhist Pantheon .Well no because although he fights ignorance. That’s what the bloodied sword is from. I’ll continue to try and do fight ignorance with him however I can, I do not try and do the wonderful spiritual discipline that Bhuddism needs in daily life.
So perhaps unlike Susan, I am German. I have recently applied to have my citizenship restored from the German Government as I was stateless at birth. Although born in Welwyn Garden city. My family have no relatives left in Germany but have roots in Berlin, my brother and I have both worked and lived in Germany, my nephew studied there and most members of the immediate family speak some German. If I have a German passport am I then German ?
Or could I be English as I have lived here most of my life ? ( see above)
- So have you decided on my identity yet?
- Is it your choice ?
Perhaps I am a Tribe of Susan
Here’s a picture Quiz : who is this person? A) Local politician, B) the Tattooed Toff C) Zoe Perry ?
Answer YES !!!
Of course the answer is YES be what you choose and in my opinion – be bold- be different identities at different times according to need or whim until the fascist ideology wins again. Then preserve your lovely skin, whatever colour ( including green, blue decorated or plain) and flee with me and Fudo.
Here’s a poem.
My mother chose this name perhaps for prettyness
more likely for the ancient links to Hazel
and the healing ascribed by cunning women.
Here’s the easy one usually hidden in initials,
A single clean European stem, Ann
A name that would not stumble in anyone’s mouth
You can flee with that, my father said.
You look for the roots in the last name
but there’s no clue, Hammond
chosen straight from the telephone book
avoiding the English ‘r’, hiding his accent
and keeping the ‘H’ on the silver forks
he brought with him.
Born stateless I had his name.
Identity is neither fixed. complete or life long