Friday, February 22, 2013
Letterforms are beautiful. Someday I hope to tattoo the letter e to my body in honor of my parents and the important women in my family. Coincidentally or not my great grandmother's, my grandmother's and my mother's name all start with the letter e. So does my father's name, I hope to someday name my children names with the letter e as well. I made pinterest board devoted to images for inspiration. These are some of them.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
It's definitely been a while since I've been here. I've been focusing on enjoying each day and trying to make the most of it. Most of January seems like a fast-paced blur and now we are mid-way through February. All in all, these past couple of months have been filled with reflection for me. I'm ready for the next step in my life (whatever it may be and whatever that means) each day I am evaluating if I am committed and in love with the work I am doing and how I am living my life. The most important part of this reflective process has been forgiveness. Forgiving myself and forgiving others. My grandfather passed on December 30th. Unfortunately, I was unable to be with my family and have not even sat down to talk to my mom about his passing but a week prior to his death I spoke to my mom about him. We discussed all the pain he caused to her, to my grandmother and to the family. What I vividly recall, however, was my mother's response as I asked her if she had forgiven my grandfather, she said she had. To me, that was enough. As I imagine the world I want to live in and as I integrate the words and ideas preached to me daily about social justice I realize the importance of forgiveness and the importance of justice. My grandfather recognized his faults and the latter part of his life attempted to change things. He did this by making the time to sit down and talk to his grandchildren, by teaching them, listening to them, and in his subtle ways demonstrating to all of us that he loved us. While I appreciated my grandfather, always at the back of my mind was the resentment of the stories I heard of the pain I knew he cause for so many years. Perhaps the situation wasn't dealt with as best as it could, perhaps something could have been done, but now, as I think back I realize that understanding human beings is also understanding that we all have faults, that sometimes systems of oppression cause us to internalize oppression within us and that in return causes us to act in negative ways. This is not to say that violence in any form is acceptable, but I do think that recognizing how often that happens in our communities and that we can work against oppression by unlearning it and practicing dignity, justice, and respect in our every day lives can change this. I know that for me, as an individual forgiving myself of the hurt I have caused and the hurt that others have put me through is difficult but I know that acknowledging and nurturing folks (even my own self) in a way in which they can understand why what they did was wrong, that they can change and that situations can change too says so much more than ostracizing and outright punishing people in our community. The state punishes us daily, sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes at a grand scale, all are equally a punishment and violent- we shouldn't replicate the same systems that oppress us, instead we should look at members of our community with different lens than that found in dominant society and unlearn oppression and foster a community of dialogue, reflection, and action.
Sunday, December 23, 2012
It's been quite a while since my last post. It is now the eve of Christmas eve. I've just finished wrapping the presents in my house and I've come to realize that it is up to me to continue the traditions my parents initiated years ago. I'm feeling nostalgic and grateful at the same time. I am not a religious person and I merely follow traditions for a sense of culture. As I help with the preparations for Christmas eve I am reminded to live in the moment and savor every moment. Being home has been a great reminder of how lucky I am to have beautiful people in my life.
I leave for Mexico in 2 days. I'm both anxious and excited for the experience I am about to partake in. I pray to the universe that everything goes well and that my group members and I make it safely. These past couple of days have been filled with reflection and I hope that this continues in the weeks to come.
It may be even longer until I write again, but I leave you with wishes of hope and gratitude. May the universe smile upon you.