We spent the day today visiting the Foreign Police Department attempting to get our residency visas, unsuccessfully it turns out for the moment. It is fabulous the amount of official paperwork we have in our possession, and yet we still can not prove that we should be allowed to be officially in Slovakia for a set period of time. We have documents, four of which are signed by the Secretary’s of State of NY, NM, MN, and MT. We have letters of recommendation by Bishops of Churches. We have letters from Ministers of Culture and Religion. We have clearances from the FBI. Everything we have has been translated and stamped by multiple official parties, and sealed (sometimes with lovely little tri-colored ribbons). We, of course, have passports, with microchips embedded in them. But one piece of paper is not quite right. Maybe we shall get that paper fixed before the random time that is set for the rest of the documents to expire, maybe not, and then we have to get those documents signed and sealed and delivered all over again.
But my point is not to talk about the nature of the Slovak Republic’s documentation system, things are the same all over, including in the United States, where getting a residency visa is no joke, actually more difficult in many ways than here, depending on where you are from and what you can prove. It just occurs to me today to ask the question: When did it get so difficult to prove that you exist? And, beyond mere existence, that you are also a responsible contributing member of any particular society.
And if you do not have a serious church organization behind you, and money, and time, and helpful residents to act in your behalf, how is any of this possible at all?
If I, for instance, did not know when I was born, because maybe no record was kept, or the record was destroyed in fire, or flood, or war, who would want me to be a part of their society?
If I could not prove a certain amount of money in an account, or a specific set of skills, who would want me to join their ranks?
Human beings are excluded from life in society everyday in every country on Earth. Circles are made, groups are formed and states are created. Everyday people are told exactly how they do not belong.
It makes me wonder how I exclude the other from my society? What walls of paper, or worse, have I created to keep others out?