Monday, November 25, 2013

Don't Give In Chicanita, Endure -Gloria Anzaldua

Don’t Give in, Chicanita (para Missy Anzaldua)
Don’t give in mi prietita
Tighten your belt, endure.
Your lineage is ancient, your roots like those of the mesquite, firmly planted, digging underground toward that current,the soul of tierra madre- your origin  Yes, mi ijita, your people were raised  en los ranchos-hear in the valley near the Rio-Grande you descended from the first cowboy, the vaquero, right smack in the border in the age before the Gringo when Texas was Mexico over en los ranched los Vergeles y Jesus Maria-Davila land. Strong women reared you: my sister, your mom, my mother and i. And yes, they’ve taken our lands. Not even the cemetery is our now where they buried Don Urbano your great great grandfather. Hard times like fodder we carry with curved backs we walk. But they will never take that pride of being Mexicana-Chicana-tejana nor our Indian woman’s spirit. And when the Gringos are gone- see how they kill one another-here we’ll still be like the horned toad and the lizard relics of an earlier age survivors of the First Fire Age-el Quinto Sol. Perhaps we’ll be dying of hunger as usual but we’ll be members of a new species skin tone between black and bronze second eyelid under the first with the power to look at the sun through naked eyes. And alive mi ijita, very much alive. Yes, in a few years or centuries la Raza will rise up, tongue intact carrying the best of all the cultures. That sleeping serpent, rebellion-(r)evolution, will spring up. Like old skin will fall the slave ways of obedience, acceptance, silence. Like serpent lightning we’ll move, little woman. You’ll see.
Translated from the Spanish by the author Gloria Anzaldua
My Analysis oral history project La Familia de Martha Chavarria from South Texas settled in Guadalupe Az.
Chris –"Strong women reared you: my sister, your mom, my mother and I"

"And yes they’ve taken our lands ", however Chris in your work you are returning the land to its rightful place. "Perhaps we will by dying of hunger as usual"- my mother in her childhood and the year Ernesto left and took the air condition with him and I almost died of heat stroke and hunger. But "we’ll be members of a new species" –Nick, Chris, Mia, Lexi and Angie, Christian. "Yes, in a few years or centuries la Raza will rise up." Chris it may hurt a little because "like old skin will fall the slave way of obedience, acceptance" of the old like the girls having babies before they themselves are born, Silence, how we just don’t talk about the oppressions against us and what happens to our lives when we are raped, abused, pregnant at 15. How this hurts our sons, our unborn daughters." Like serpents lightning we’ll move"-its not adhd Chris- it is our way of moving through power, weaving and braiding the power into our own hands. "The power to look at the sun through naked eyes"- your third eye will be your new eyes my sons, my granddaughter. "They took our cemetery" in Guadalupe. My grandmother Virginia, me and Lexi "walk with curved back": carrying us from the hard times. Carrying our mothers. And alive, hijos, "very much alive"!! And free- your daughters and sons will be free!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Documenting for archival/survival use: My mothers stories growing up in Guadalupe, Arizona

There comes a time in every scholars life when the theory must be lived or we die. This was my experience this summer as i lay in a hospital bed documenting and listening to my mothers stories of survival and tenacity growing up in Guadalupe Arizona. As a third generation American born scholar i realized i had lost this learned survival that kept past generations alive. I study them to remember and to know how to go on living as they did. I must ask myself how did they survive poverty, despair, disease,  hunger, losses of children and separations from loved ones due to deportations or migrations. What were the resiliency factors, the bounce backs? My mother grew up in Guadalupe Arizona, a small yaqui community in the heart of the east valley and harsh  deserts of Arizona. She tells the story of carrying water from the canal back home and boiling it for drinking.  My grandmother lived in a house with no air conditioning.  She would carve out a small room, plant herbals and hung cloths to darken and insulate the room. In the summers she was like an animal in a burrow. Insulated and covered in the earth, buried her limbs in mud. It appeared as if no  one was home she lay so still.  As a girl my mother would walk across town to the end of the town where there was a canal.  She gathered water in a wagon and cooled and washed her body. Tepidly she'd splash at the edges due to an earlier incident  in which she almost drowned. They'd take water home to boil for drinking. I realized after hearing this story from my hospital bed that i am not so removed from third world experiences as i thought. The doctors asking me if i d been out of the country lately.  I am only first generation removed from third world quality  of life and harsh living conditions. The stories manifest and show like old scars on my body. I carry my mothers battle scars on my own. Inheritance or lived, If the story lives in the mother it continues to resonate to her daughters.  I never carried water across the town to boil and drink but my bodies cells remember the diseases transmitted - skips one generation and lives in my gut. In the hospital when i sleep i see the snake rodents head enlarged threatening and-eats at my vital nutrients. Doctors cant figure out why my body won't retain sodium, sugars, iron, electrolites so off i could have hallucinated the light coming to me in the dark. Zaps away my force but i keep writing and when i write these stories of my mothers i imagine a new story into being. One where i float in harmony with water and it becomes purified with the suns rays on my face. I become one with the lake and all living beings, i coexist.  I float still like my grandmother bunny in her burrow, limbs cool from the mud, one with mother earth.  And so it is.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

When they sentence Latinas/Chicanas to Anger Management

When Institutions of psychiatry, law enforcement or man sentence Latinas/Chicanas to anger management what they are really saying is:

Shut up, 
you are too Loud
Too Much
Silence your Voice
Eres muy Chingona
You should be home 
in the kitchen with
your babies or having
babies if you don't have 
any or apologizing
crying if you don't 
know how to make tortillas
penance, on your knees
pray for forgiveness
Be more Mary Like
Docile, doormat-
Don't speak Detractor
And definitely don't
talk Back or 
Defend yourselves
Fight Back 

Artista/poeta jewell armendariz  
para mi hermanita Laura Medina-M