I entered your cold grey home,
I am here yet it is as I never arrived.
I knocked your door and you let me in
So why do you make me feel like an intruder?
I am too foreign for home
Too western for motherland.
Caught in between hosts as a guest.
You have the key in your hands
Why won’t you let me in?
The home I am referring to is the country. The guest is the immigrant who requires permission by knocking on the door, to enter the country, which is, of course, entering the country legally through the borders and passport controls. The host is the one who is in charge of the house (country). The immigrant is asking, you allowed me to enter this country legally as you are the host, who has all the control. The host has enough power to choose his/her guests to allow through the borders or Barr them. Yet why do you treat me as if I am a stranger who has entered forcefully and illegally without any rights?
As there is a house, someone, which is the host holds the key to the house and determines who is welcome and who is not. In here, in terms of the host, I am talking about is the country, people who live in the country choose whether they want to allow access to these “guests”, these immigrants.
The title threshold is expressing the state of nonarrival in the country. The guests feel unwelcome and as if they have never arrived, because of the rejection they feel from their hosts. The immigrants feel settled into the new lives, homes and perhaps jobs, yet the feel somewhat isolated and alienated by the “original” community. The guests have left their own motherland, in search of a new start, hope and a better future for their children. The host has invited the guests for economic and demographic purposes, and the guests took that opportunity. But somehow their arrival is postponed.
I wrote this as a daughter of an immigrant. The idea was to capture the feeling of millions of immigrants around Britain and elsewhere, who feel like they don’t belong in their homes. There is this constant battle between longing for your motherland, but knowing that there is a small part where your own culture sees you as someone from abroad, Westerner, maybe the “lucky one”, the “rich one” etc. And in their home countries, they may be seen as a foreigner, strange one, exotic, cultured etc. Or even if non of the above, there’s always a weird divide some feel of not being accepted fully.
Credit due: uni course and J.Derrida “Hospitality”.