I tried to prepare myself for what would happen when I came back to Toronto, when this blog would become defunct. I brainstormed for the perfect final post—something that encapsulates my experiences in a place that means so many things to me. I thought long and hard about what words would paint perfectly the soul of a foreign homeland, an industrializing state, a contradiction of desperate Westernization and steadfast Vietnamese cultural tradition, and above all, the history of my people, my family.
But then my Cathay Pacific flight landed at Pearson, and then my cab pulled up to my parents’ driveway, and then my suitcases piled up in my room and then I went out with friends and then I moved back downtown and then school started and then, and then, and then.
I struggled these past couple months to write the concluding paragraph of that chapter of my life, to no avail. It refuses to be written.
Because maybe that wasn’t a “chapter” of my life. Maybe that was an opening theme which finishes but doesn’t end. Or like the first movement of a long and complicated classical sonata (you know the ones I’m talking about). Its notes twinkle throughout, choosing to come back strong in a reprise or ending but only after they have coloured the life of the piece.
Vignettes of Viet Nam lives on. The sounds playing in the background will occasionally emerge to become a passage, a movement, a cadence—whatever it needs to be.