let’s practice

with that anger

i don’t like it.
this stops here. you passed a line.
bullshit.

i don’t believe that.

no.
what?! Unbelievable.

Can’t come into my space and question my life
question, my being.

F off.

sorry, I can’t have this.
now I am calling it a night

can’t put words in my mouth
and will not

afraid of anger
silly
it needs out
like those giggles yawns praises
moans and whimpers

anger, come home

fond memories of my mother

acupuncture on wednesday
the needles and breathing
calmed me
there your sweet face
came

in silence
comforting

conference yesterday
while we ate lunch
women loving mariachi as much
as you
screaming ese
ajua grito

with all of us

there

you were

you are here
and will be

i love to remember

this

you are here

and have been

forgiveness

little Fabita:

the time ama y apa fought,
you were lovable
worthy
a simple joy to be around
pure in that smile
your innate value unbreakable

when the nicest apa
with a bottle in his hand becoming
angry for no apparent reason
you were lovable
worthy
a simple joy to be around
pure in that smile
your innate value unbreakable

when the men forgot you were just a child
and did things to you that you didn’t understand
you were lovable
worthy
a simple joy to be around
pure in that smile
your innate value unbreakable

as ama went in and out of the hospital since
you were 8.
you were lovable
worthy
a simple joy to be around
pure in that smile
your innate value unbreakable

the older boyfriend who was not going to take no
for an answer,
you were lovable
worthy
a simple joy to be around
pure in that smile
your innate value unbreakable

when your ama transitioned from her
terrestrial beautiful face body and all actions
motherly coming from her being
feeling that she left your brothers and you
too young
you were lovable
worthy
a simple joy to be around
pure in that smile
your innate value unbreakable

you were no less than the sky, stars and moon
you have been and are

so is she
and the love remains
never left
here always

pure as pure gold in its essence

with those experiences

you are lovable
and now loving
a simple joy to be around
pure in that smile
your innate value unbreakable

becoming

now you have broken hearts
forgive yourself
forgive
your heart is that grandiose
no less than the sky, stars and moon
it is and has been these 32 years

pure as pure gold in its essence

I am sorry Fabita
I love you

Now continue shining
and remember.

pure as pure
no less than the sky, stars and moon

Thank you and remember

the line we moved from lincoln heights to eagle rock. is a has been by now.
the process, and being (almost) pretty comfortable in one area after leaving the other, everything that happened before and through that moving,
becomes the simple action.
we moved.

and there we are.

hello there again

changes changes changes ..
we moved in almost a year ago into a new neighborhood, from lincoln heights to eagle rock.
i also got a new job, from esperanza to maternal and child health access. working with tenants to community research. focus groups, interviews, and now surveys and community stories. more policy and process.

i am incredibly grateful for much in my life.
life, period.
my daughter.

my dad/stepmama and brothers.
friends.
for home.

it’s been over a year since i wrote on the blog.

my personal wellness has been a bit rocky in the last few months. i fell into moderate depression sometime in the summer. trigger behind trigger behind trigger until i finally just couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to ‘calm myself down’ always alert, jittery, on the verge of tears.

i am strengthening myself.
it’s a one day to every other day deal. letting go of worry. i also think there’s cellular memory, really old stuff, coming to the highest of surfaces and need out.

allowing myself to get angry. and tenderness … to learn about this ‘doing what you really want’ deal. a lot of disconnectedness experienced in my body because of a b and c and d, I am learning back to basics ‘what i want and really need road’ and how sacred my body is, and listening to it is key.

ya.

and the poems, saying slow hellos.
how are you’s and
jotting words
and reading poems

it’s been a while.

reintroducing poetry, and reading it daily and
writing it just as much.

Even after all this time,
the sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights the whole sky. –HAFIZ

quaint yellow chair

to the right an altar with pictures of dead people. a candle is lit for the dead people / to remind the soothing fiery life element, that all will be okay.

when he was dirt the chair belonged in his home
before, when he was dirt

it was a pass-it-down gift. the best kind present. those rich in meaning history objects that complement a spot, a cat’s scratching obsession.

his when he was dirt. rich soil dirt that births weeds, flowers, the fruits we eat.

that chair with abundant cat tears all around
many compliment its mustard tint ignoring teary rough holes
the small person of this house says it’s soft and cushy
it keeps giving

it belonged to him, even before
when he was dirt.

abundant sits from his childhood. foundation for play / maybe even a comfort place when teary eyed. all of that then. if the chair could talk.

a cat sleeps on it, while the boss of this house remembers the ironies of life and appreciates the bits that are easy to.

dusting away
allowing deep feeling every so often heart flops, remind of the gems, arriving by way of breathing intimately in ones body.

***this past week i’ve been meaning to write you yellow chair that’s been used as long as you have … thank you for adding more character into the small home.

piece of paper crucifix

pen and paper raw realities
on wrinkled short letters
discovered
before their shredded garbage or burned
ending
that hot sunday
a piece of paper
of gut truth
was picked up and read
flipped the young home upside down
it was the feather that
teased the lions roar awake

don’t be afraid of the
pen no more
voice
now
no need to
think of consequences
like that
lesson learned
you burn quicker
don’t burn in mind everything
that’s too scary to write down

the piece of paper
that traumatized raw truth
out of you.

if the cost is so high
trust your truth
even with high payments like that

randomness/ consistency

Random update. I went through the links to the right every-so-often clicking to another two from other people’s blogs that I love. It took me about 30 minutes to do this.

There’s a lot to write about. Instead I’ll share my reading patterns, next time I’ll click through every single link, it will be in a few months. At the moment, I’m reading Octavia Butler, The Practical Genius, and Myths to Live By, as in books/books.

Since I have so much to say, I’ll go to sleep and read.

Don’t mean to be mysterious for the sake of being mysterious … I am writing with movement, as in I’m alive and moving ( a mami, amiga, amante, hija, hermana, trabajadora, taking dance classes, on occasion going for the walks/hikes) (helping decorate trees for Christmas) among other lovely mundane acts and random movements and one of the stories is fermenting and I will write it. The blog, will be here.

Maybe when my professional life doesn’t take so much of my being … and “the writing voice”, is ready to be alive full force, I will make the space for it to have a slot in the busy days of full time work head of household mamahood. Always learning, and when that happens, I will try to embrace to make peace with its many layers.

On a relatively macro note (my life), these last few months, allow me to describe what I have been seeing/feeling/thinking/believing, consistency is the word. Thanking this space and time, the people in my life, and the realization that all of this is fluid, and also knowing there is consistency in breathing, faith and trusting the larger part of surviving/thriving.

Hard to peel the layers of “consistency” in words. You feel/think/and be it. When not busy trying to value this non “super exciting” “breakthrough” “new thing” “non drama” phase, I’m enjoying the space before the next novelty (rock) hits in the sendero (journey).*

*I feel like I have to say this, my logical brain speaking to the creative side, sigo siendo soƱadora pero con los pies bien plantados sobre la tierra.

Everything changes and stays the same

To quote a friend. We talk to once or twice a year, and we both share changes and extraordinary ordinary privileges, and not so privileged aspects of our particular lives.

No major changes and yet so many.

To be specific about my own, I live in the same place, my little one, plus the two pets and I are going on two years living in what was once our new apartment. It’s my sixth year living in the neighborhood, after leaving for two years. Roots, not according to those that have lived here for over 25 – 50 years. But there are many great neighbors / I can leave town, and I’m covered by these neighbors. My pets and plants. Life is good. It takes time to be trusted and trust …

The neighborhood that has many first generation immigrants of Mexican, Chinese and Vietnamese descent, and other ethinicities. A place that on most days there’s gang graffiti on every other corner street wall, and at the same time beautiful populated streets with skaters, kids on bikes and families. A place where theft is a common survival thing, from the youth of color on to the other people of color of the neighborhood.

Back in April I spoke about making stories with each step on Griffin, the street many bike on/ walk kids to and from school their dogs, … the one that I shared was populated by many young women of color that early April night, is also one that’s had a street altar/ ofrenda. One mama of this neighborhood lost her daughter to homicide, in late spring. This same beautiful street with beautiful people also filled with in your face tragedies. Hope and tragedy in our steps … our cycles.

Everything changes and stays the same.

Worker of the same place, so many changes in that place yet not nearly enough it requires. I’ve changed and yet need to change so much more. 5 and a half years there, and at 30 years old, I say “ya no” to the place on to old ways in it / in me.

Everything changes and stays the same.

Energy is sacred.

The soul suck of staying in one place (I’m speaking about one’s habits/ places of livelihood, not neighborhood) while changing and knowing it’s not enough, is hard on the spirit, I’m not trying to color it pink anymore. Maybe I can to myself intellectually but my body can’t to me. I dream about it. My neck cracks scream it … and my flow / well it is asking “more work” from me for her.

And here I am, opening myself up, little steps, releasing these old ways, inviting in risk. I’ve changed so much, with the times but I’m being asked to change even further, align with my spirit. Trying, but also trying to break away from conformity stability of the old and fear.

Slowly, everything changes and stays the same. Inspired by life, and everyone around me that is going through this/ have gone through their own / and experiencing their own mini breakthroughs. How many of those do we need in life?

One breath at a time.

I’m writing, and the words are helping clarity and other truth unveiling. With love, honesty, healing and self compassion at the center … but risk, new friend of mine, I’m inviting you in.

New Stories of Mi Mama

Every day, but today a little more. We spent it in Palmdale with mi tia, La Huera (The light skin one). Yes skin tone you’ll see is a big deal in my family like in many families/history/society.

First memory shared: That my mama (born and raised in the farm) worked in colonial big city Guadalajara, Jalisco cleaning a family’s home when she was in her 20s. If I could visit that family, I would.

Second memory shared: When my aunt was born, who is very light skinned, one man from the farm joked that my mama must hide since her sister was born, because my mama was darker. This was sparked by my cousin’s remark how interesting that my nena, and I are darker skin complected (he said oscuros), compared to them.

Third memory: my darker skin complected grandfather and those hands working the farmland with tenderly love sometimes would hit my red headed butcher industrious grandmother, and that my mama once intervened, getting blows herself. According to my aunt, that was the beginning of my mother’s health demise. The bruise on her face that eventually according to my aunt, became exposed and Cancer making a home in my mama’s body. By the age of 30 (my age) my mama was in the US, a new mama having birthed my older brother, also had Cancer on her life buckle.

Secrets. Lies. Migration. Joy. Violence. Remembering. Healing. Death. Re-birth. Common threads in families.

My aunt can share, especially sad stories.

Last time I saw her was 13 months ago. My phone was off, because I was ON with this woman, who I see once a year.

She asked why, hija was it that I saw you over a year ago. I looked her in the eye, and said like a rebellious teenage daughter “no real good reason, tia. Time just flies.” Felt pretty superfluous.

She went on to share about the tumba abandonada, the deserted tomb where my mama’s remains are. I didn’t say “She’s in my house, with me.” She compared tombs my grandmother’s in Michoacan who for mother’s day always has a corona, can you believe that far away and well taken care of? Uy. If they knew how much my mama’s legacy is celebrated in my house. How much I talk to my little one about my mama. I said, okay. I hear this, I’m with you and your pain, Tia.

Then she spoke of the last moments with my grandfather exactly two years ago. My grandfather dying a day before this birthday, buried on his birthday.

Feeling a little guilty that I told my friend that No I didn’t need his frequent flier miles to say my goodbyes to my already deceased grandfather, I had a trip already planned to San Felipe, with my daughter, my niece and her mother … I was siding with life. I thought then, life, joy, children, beaches by the desert.

I admitted, tia, I was 28 immature, and excited to rejuvenate by the beach, I couldn’t be with my grandfather. I didn’t tell her, that I wish I would see him alive in his farm, and not saying goodbye, that was too heavy. I wanted my only living grandfather to not die before I was ready, but he died before my timeline accompanying my dead grandma and mama. It was ridiculously much.

I chose beach. Desert. Children.

Sighing I listened to my aunt and her descriptive story of their last moments, letting my eyes get wet but not tears to roll down my cheeks. Mi tia huera needed me to witness all her memories and not get distracted by tears … I didn’t leave sad from that place, connected is the word. Present and incredibly hopeful, with little Amaya and Alexa by my side.

Si, memoir. Memoir needs birthing.

clearing dust around here

(I did write 28 poems on my Tumblr for curious inquiring minds <3 )

Mi corazon opened up a little more for her, and welcomed the muse into my home.
Inspired by a visit at Vroman’s (my favorite bookstore with beautiful books and people who work there), to see widely known author Esmeralda Santiago who shared her work and words of inspiration. Reminding to awaken the curiosity of one’s history (sharing her beloved Puerto Rico con nosotr@s), identity in the making/ people making history … creating ones ancestors when there isn’t proof you create em, and writing about what preoccupies and what is precious to you. She reminded those that still have their viejos alive, to ask questions assisting future generations with that favor of documenting the viejos’ stories.

It also opened a bit because I was with my father and my younger brother this morning … we’ve visited the doctor, acupuncturist, his 71 year-old caminata is asking for more care. He is still, to use his words funny and social, mi papa.

On the way to the doctor we passed Mission Cemetery were we lay to rest my mama’s body and both paternal grandparents. That brushed itself against memories. Generations ending on this world journey.

It opened up a bit, because I thought of my little one and her devious act she did today, her father told me about.

It opened more since I spoke with my stepmama over the phone about literature, the book I bought her, my father’s health, and a trip she wants to make …

Then I spoke with G … and her jello in the making inquiring about that visitor nostalgia, que visita de vez en cuando, and su risa.

Abierto, yesterday with mi amor a un lado filled with enriching stories, and Tuesday with lovely J walking the hills of the neighborhood, with neighborhood children and munchk carrying by big sticks to “scare off the coyotes” as we ventured rugged hills speaking about love, perspective/work, community/abundance and wealth.

Work with its stresses the mujeres are so beautiful there (porque digo que no, si si)… I came home with a mini rose bush from the appreciation shared from la mera la mera. Can’t deny work has been super stressful but doesn’t take away from the people and the wisdom/lessons and reciprocal contributions.

It feels wide open and raw, and not coincidentally I am ready to write again. I did shut muse out in the written way, been busy with life, and stress and losing weight because of it, and work and more work. But here it is open and ready, let’s get back into gear for now muse. I am not reprimanding habit, embracing you muse. We’re good good friends … the ones that can start up again as if yesterday we were together even though it’s been many months.

Where to begin … somewhere else, on Word and edits. Let’s start there.

a poem a day

April is National Poetry Month and I will do a poem a day.

I’ve been called a poet more than before this year so allow me to step up in April, adding poetic pressure to the existence of full time worker head of household mama queen.

Drafts of course, and most if not all will make it to the blog. There’s many poets I admire that are embarking on this endeavor, like before, and that’s always an honor to be in community committed to write poems in a month’s time.

De poeta y de loco todos tenemos un poco.