My goodness it’s been a long time! I blame the Greeks. Well technically the Seleucids and the Maccabees …
Anyway, I promised a post on my epiphany and here it is. I’m not sure if it really qualifies as an epiphany but that’s what I’m going to call it anyway.
Last Friday, my school hosted a Half-Way There Cruise for the sophomore class. This cruise consisted of a four hour boat ride and terrible food and music around the New York Harbor. Being born and bred in said state, the New York Harbor is nothing new to me, but is still awe-inspiring. The skyline never gets old. I could stare at it for hours. If the boat had halted right next to Manhattan and never returned to Queens, I would have been perfectly content.
But alas, the boat did turn around to dock again in Queens right next to Troubled Assets Recovery Program Field, woops, I mean Citi Field, home of the New York Mets (sorry, Mets fans, I’m die-hard Yankees). On its way back, we passed and paused by Lady Liberty and Ellis Island. Being an ethnic mutt (Italian, Irish, Polish, German, French, and Huron Indian) I know for a fact that most of my ancestors came through Ellis Island a hundred or so years ago, and seeing the place where they ended their arduous journeys in the hopes that I could live the life I do now had me choked up. Yes, they weren’t thinking of me specifically, but without them, I would not me where I am, nor would I be as fortunate. Their flight to Ellis Island and the struggles they endured in their new lives laid the foundation for me to be able to be free, go to college, and not have to worry about the trials they endured like potato famine, religious persecution, and poverty.
As I was hanging out the back of the boat reenacting Rose and Jack from Titanic with my best friend and watching Ellis Island recede with the skyline behind it, an idea struck me. How must my ancestors have felt watching Ellis Island and the skyline coming closer to them? Were they afraid? Were they excited? Did it remind them of Italy/Ireland/Poland/Germany/France? With that thought, came the ideal for a novel!!
Not precisely a novel as much as a collection of short stories commenting on the passage of time and progression of my country. It will involve a bit of research and probably a trip to Ellis Island herself. I am going to follow my family history from the time we came to America. Everything I need is right there: plot, conflict, suspense, characters, even names! It’s perfect. Some of my ancestors were good people and I’m sure some were downright dirt-bags. The Italians were not happy when their children announced they were marrying Irishmen. The Polish weren’t happy about the union with a German. I can guarantee you the French weren’t too thrilled about the marriage to an Indian.
Some people nowadays might look at me and think I’m just white. But in reality I am full of culture. Every single person who has ever lived on the face of this planet is full of culture. Everyone has history. Everyone is diverse. It’s how we survive as the human race. My diversity just comes from Europe.
And it makes great writing material!!