As part of the Mothers I- am -going – to- see-my-son-you-have- take-care-of- your-father training, she taught me how to clean squid, which can only be described as an eww kind of job ( no kidding.. it’s very ewww) never before have I been so appreciative of the food that has been served to me at the table, especially the stuff I’ve never had to take apart before.
There are some things in life we inherit from our parents, their looks, their words and some times even their opinions, but there are some things we are taught, some skills we are made to learn, mostly required for survival, but to an extent I suppose it is also an act of handing over tradition to the next generation. It creates in you a sense of belonging, a sense of identity, even in the simplest things, even in the most mundane things, your identity is being revealed, it is being built, it is being constructed by instruction we’ve received by the people around us.
Every family has certain things they do in certain ways, for generations and generations, there has been no change and you are known by that.
I am often reminded that people know you by your family, you are never just your name, you are always referred to as someones daughter/son, someones granddaughter/grandson, someones brother, someones sister. It takes a whole lot of people to make us, we are products of processes, products of years of learning and instruction and pure love, and although there have been times I’ve not understood why we do the things we do, or why we do them in particular fashion, I can’t help but think, this is how my ancestors and elders have done things, this is where the line is drawn to connect us…it’s not just the name, but by virtue of these acts that have been passed down throughout the years.
Some call it tradition, for us a way of life
When you are younger you want to rebel against the very nature of your being, but in time, slowly, gradually you return to your roots.. steadily making your way towards Home. You begin to appreciate who are called to be, because we are bigger than who we are, older, carrying history with us, squid cleaning included.. ( still ewww..)
It’s in the way mothers teach you to cook, and crochet, to knit and fix buttons, to take care of people, to be sensitive to their needs. It’s in the way dads teach you how to drive, and how to take decent pictures, to be on time and to plug-in the sound system and TV.Maybe its an Indian thing, but this is the way to honour and carry forward and remember the people who came before us.
I have begun to understand that identity is not really something we will find in the outside world, its something that is revealed to us in our homes, in our traditions and in squid cleaning..
Here’s to life and spicy stuffed squid.. aka the bullet