All families invent their parents and children, give each of them a story, character, fate, and even a language. There was always something wrong with how I was invented and meant to fit in with the world, my parents and four sisters. Whether this was because I constantly misread my part or because of some deep flaw in my being I could not tell for the most of my early life. Sometimes I was intransigent, and proud of it. At other times I seemed to myself to be nearly devoid of any character at all, timid, uncertain, without will. Yet the overriding sensation I had was of always being out of place.
(Out of Place, Edward Said, 2000: 3).
Delving into memory, not via the mind but via actions re-produced by the body, allowed the role of ritual and the subconscious to tap into memory, and emerge to inhabit a space. Through the ritualistic process of donning the abbayah and wearing my grandmother’s ring, I was able to transpose myself into a past memory. This became the ritual for me, freeing the body to spatially re-map specific actions, gestures and moments.