Friday, May 12, 2006

At War..

This was one of those weeks where I swear I heard/felt every gunshot wound, every mother's cry, every husband's blow to the face, every woman's trauma in the midst of violation, every child's neglect, every loss of job or eviction due to the oppressive state that goes as far as to steal from a poor man trying to feed his family. It was one of those weeks where I became aware of every past and present, hidden and overt, mental and physical act of violence that my people have experienced throughout generations, I experienced them all simultaneously like spirits conjuring up speechless words to remind me their stories. I crept up in my own dreams, becomming my own enemy. The world was hard to look at.. everything was a reminder of the still living conquistador.

The cracks on the sidewalks could have opened up to some hand, raised from one of the many sacred indigenous burial sites gone ignored by manifest destiny and the industrial movement, to grab hold of my ankle and take me further into the depth of all this. Every brand name hanging from shoulders, necks, waists, and feet were invisibible chains, the modern-day work world the plantation. I could have declared war with a one person army, myself, except I saw that the colonizer has crept within the depths of me as well. I was filled with anger at the fact that I have never known what it is like to be free or to even comprehend a moment of it, because having been born into a slave state as an enslaved woman, has never afforded me the chance to know myself, my potential, my love, my spirit, outside of the confines of mental, spiritual, or physical colonization. I was filled with rage at the fact that at 25 the concept of bringing forth life is such a sin and an oppressive state to be in, although my ancestors, having lived a day where children were celebrated blessings, are asking me questions about my life. Every tear that rolled down my face was a "fuck you!" to the colonizer that I could not vocalize, for there was no one tangible target to cap, shank, or tear to pieces. And I cried myself into war with myself, the enemy that has crept within me, wanting him out, wanting him exorcized, wanting the self I had never known, feeling I could never be genuinely loved without having known that true self to introduce to others and a true self to truely know.

I have been surviving since my mother's thigh wet with the ocean, and I have only known myself as a survivor, a warrior. A warrior ignited by anger, because violence was introduced at a young age and I began to know it well. The world has always been an open battlefield, always vulnerable to attacks, no hills to hide over except denial itself. Denial I think is what keeps people sane and in some ways complacent, because I could have taken up arms right there on the train, right there on campus or in class, right there on the sidewalk, in the supermarket, right there on the crosswalk or while jaywalking the freeway, right there in front of five Oh in the hood, right there in the classroom in front of my students, right there in my livingroom or in the bathroom while sittin on my toilet, right there on the papers they think I write for a mere letter grade... The war never leaves my mind. The war never leaves me.

7 comments:

Kilimanjaro: High and Lo said...

OH MY WOWOW! Tigera--this was very powerful. "Mama's gun" type stuff-cred to e.badu...i forgot who said " a man is conscious when he/she is in a constant state of rage." your words were so powerful..they drew me into what you were experiencing and actually made me emotional...and of course, i love that you signed your permission slip to feel and share your heart! that's whats up sis! i really enjoyed reading this....thank you for sharing and being so damn fly. on that note, i'm off

xoxo kila

with my nappy headed ass said...

I love this. I love it. This is beautiful. The power is in every last one of your words. I know this feeling so well. I can't help but cry.

alaghom naom tzentel said...

mami,
tus palabras, they strike each of us at the core. echo our own anger and frustatrations. our constant negotiations with the what we could/should/need to do.
in these moments i reflect and i begin to take an inventory of my arsenal and although they may not be physical weapons with which to inflict hurt...
they remind me of Fanon, of the violence of which he speaks in the wretched of the earth. we must begin to take up ideas, words, actions, thoughts, each of which violently attacks, subverts, dismisses, recreates. we call upon our mothers plead for their fortaleza. and move into attack mode. existing within the belly of the beast hoping to the creator the heartburn, indigestion, and dysentaria kick in and break down the beast. make it so ill with itself that it will destroy itself.
rosita, tu energia, your rage, your woes, keep you livin', keep you movin'. thank you for sharing and describing that which i struggle with, el dolor we have inherited and that we seek to heal.
love you.
lis

Tigera Consciente said...

i think the danger comes when it is hard to channel that rage and when it almost takes over you... it is a powerful and scarey feelin.. i think at those times i have to evaluate whether i'm being as affective as i can be to my fullest potential in channeling that rage/making change/fighting at war... i think... that's part of when this feeling is about.. the war taking over me.. i'm tryin to still understand it myself.. but rage seems to be the clearest thing to me right now.. rage and everything that incites it...

Tigera Consciente said...

oops.. part of WHAT this feeling is about..

skyscraper said...

wow. ditto to all of the above women's comments.
this is intense, emotionally dense and inciteful, woman! your every word is so powerful.

you're very right, too, that it's a huge task to learn to channel that rage into some constructive energy and civil resistance. i know exactly (like i have no doubt all of us here) how it feels when you're so sick and fed up with all the shit around you, and when you feel powerless and desperate over changing anything in peaceful ways, and just want to fucking blow everybody up!

arhhhh, such an overwhelming task to control and positivize that immense impulse to just kill, oppress, humiliate, torture those who have done it to you and your people! so they, too, could finally know what it feels like to be you.
thank you for being so honest and fearless at expressing this. it's beautiful.

skyscraper said...

oh, btw, the boy on your photograph looks strikingly like my brother. i mean, just like cut and pasted! here's my little munchkin bro (although he's already 16 now, but that's how i last saw and remember him).