I’m lucky to live in this lucky country, but more lucky than some. My skin is white – so-called, so I slip under the radar… to the mainstream I’m an invisible immigrant. (Being a painter, I know my skin colour is not white, it’s actually a mix of zinc white, yellow ochre, a little red, a touch of dioxine purple and black.)
It’s not that long ago that I felt the agony of being displaced, disconnected from my homeland, an unwanted alien. My family had sought a new life, refuge from living in an oppressive society. We came to Australia, a country filled with people who mostly came here from somewhere else.
Now I see you, just a child in the arms of a stranger. Lifted from your tiny vessel. Wide-eyed, beyond fear. Spared from the chasm of the sea, to receive a brief reprieve of kindness – bottled water, a shiny space blanket and food.
But the world doesn’t want you. We avert our eyes or turn our backs. We are too busy, too poor, too stressed, too determined to stay safe – close the gate! Batten down the hatches!
Take heart little one. My spirit yearns with you, that you will find your true home, where you are embraced and can flourish. Perhaps I will meet you there and we will rejoice in our full spectrum of colours. We will be known and cherished. The laughter of love will fill the air – even now we belong to and with each other.
In the meantime, I will not lose sight of you, I will use the privilege of my luck to help you.