“The swans, in discouragement, have migrated
from the poisonous lakes this evening,” – Siamanto, Prayer
Sorry for the interruption of the Armenia series, but hearing this specific news, relieved that it was exposed, however shamed of her inability to protect, Miss Hoggy was reminded of why she left the home of her grandfather’s, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo.
Borneo, exotic, wild, abundant, exploited. While writing about Armenia, and inspired by those who stood strong to rebuild their historic homeland, at the back of her mind, the truth was, Miss Hoggy cannot relate to why those people stayed. It was easier to leave, to find a safer and less poisonous land to make a brighter home for a future generation, not one with a bleak outlook, where selfish power has taken root so deep.
Words make, but words break. You can cover up with words, but words are the one who enlightened. Ashamed that she couldn’t see a future in her birthplace, to a point where she actually uttered, “It’s hopeless.” She left the home where her grandparents have built their home, because she was left powerless, an educated, well-off girl in Sarawak, to protect. She was made to believe that it wouldn’t make a difference if she tried.
So she decided to leave for good, and called Australia home. She felt included there, where her actions and words can actually make a difference. At long last, she was given the chance of redeeming herself from her cowardly thinking, as an Aussie, as a traveller to places where they were resurrected from beyond the grave. That, maybe the land of her forefather wasn’t that poisonous after all.
I can no longer call Sarawak home, but let me encourage those who chose to stay to be strong. Despite of what those seemingly powerful men have told us, you can make a difference, no matter how powerless you seem, just as long as you try.
Because it is finally known. Why I left no longer mattered as the words that break the silence of secrecy were spoken. Go, inspire those who want to leave, to stay.