Here in the Mercosur, the somewhat chaotic bloc of partner-rival nations where I now live, there’s a saying… “The South is our North.” The implication being that the “true north”, the guidestar, the pathway ahead and up into a bright future, is to the South.*
My book-in-progress (yes, of course I’m writing a book, isn’t everyone nowadays?) is titled Falling Off The Hemisphere. The title imagery a referback, of course, to the idea of falling “down”, the deepset sensewashing that “South” is “Down” on a map or a globe of Earth. Which means, of course, that I’m still oriented from the North. As much as I say, “Be an immigrant to where you now live, not an expat from someplace else”, in my writings at Uruguay Expat Life and elsewhere, my compass needle, and my brain, still points North. Else, this wouldn’t be a tale of “Falling”, would it?
The theme of the book, and of the conversations I hope to facilitate on this site, as a smart “discussion parlor” on global citizenry and self-reinvention, is that of how our global nightmare of over-corporatization, of Global North-normality, of the 2008-present economic destruction, changed the world. How it changed some people, and why it didn’t change so many others. How the sane reaction to it may be to change your life, rather than to hope that the old normal will return.
My own story, and deep decline when the meltdown caused me to lose nearly everything, being the thread through the book. A thread that led me “down” here to re-invent my life in South America, instead of continuing to go “down” in the sense of loss and despair. As well, stories of others who chose to change the rules of the game, to beat the Kobayashi Maru test.
*If we were getting all meta, I could note that the very saying, “The South is our North”, is still Northern-centric, as it uses North as the definition of “the future”. Oh, and there is no South Star.