Holy crap “Mexican” is in

Yeah you heard me right, Mexican is now a thing! It’s trending, it’s cool, it’s what people are paying to wear this summer and I’m not just talking about those on their privileged escapades to Mexican resorts. It’s happening here in the good ole U.S. of A. Serious!

Over the weekend I was out for the third time in the last couple of months on a quest to find new sandals because damn my feet have been burning up in my lil ankle boots that I can’t seem to put away no matter how hot its getting out there.

Of course I hit Shoes on a Shoestring hoping that this time I would find the right pair that would look good in both jeans and a summer dress. I arrived and started eyeing the shoes. I have a method. I go down an aisle and look right and then left. I have to remind myself to slow down because if I try to go all speed of light, I end up mareada and who wants to be dizzy when you’re trying to pick out new kicks?

Ok so I kept looking and looking and then my brain registered something before I could formalize the thought. I had noticed something that made me stop in my tracks and do a double, maybe triple take.

“What?!” I exclaimed. I think I even said it out loud but with my delirious mind I never know. IMG_1284

“Huaraches?! No freakin’ way!”

But yes way (or better yet, buey or guey if we want to be real Mexican and authentic).

I wasn’t being delusional and yes I was seeing pair upon pair of huarache-like shoes.

IMG_1285There were brown ones, black ones, colorful ones, and even some that looked like they came straight out of Doña Meche’s danza bag!

My adventure didn’t end there. Once again I was unsuccessful at finding a new pair of sandals and since I already own huaraches and I refuse to buy any not made in Mexico, I ventured over next door to TJ Maxx. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What was the first display placed at the very front of the store? Mas Mexicana/o! A huipil type looking blouse. IMG_1287And as I continued to walk down the aisle there was yet another blusa and of course more huarache-type shoes.

“Holy crap!” I thought, “Mexican is in.”

But then of course my race-trained brain swiftly moved to the following thought, but do those cabrones even know that we’ve been sporting some type of huaraches and huipil since probably before the pre-conquest days and do they even realize this is a Mexican thing?

I mean if we’re honest, man, sometimes it feels like we’re the most despised ethnicity of them all. With so many anti-immigrant laws in our face, anti-English rules in schools, racial profiling, ICE on the rise, the ginormous wall Trump el tonto wants to build, and so much more. I mean it’s constantly in our face and in our ears of how bad we are but I think people are just hating.

Yeah, I know we’re taking over. We’re everywhere now, I mean everywhere. Alaska, the Midwest, the Northeast, and we rule the Southwest. Name any town or city, even the super racist backwards ones and you know there’s a lil Mexican restaurant there. The bright yellowish sign proudly sporting, Tio Chepo or Tia Maria, or Tacos El Unico, something like that.

I can just hear them saying, “Oh I sure love me them tacos!”

But yet you don’t love us. Bastards!

So yes mi raza, despite the baboso and all his anti-raza rhetoric, it seems to me that it’s the year of the Mexican. Yes, we could easily get hung up on the newest example of cooptation, it never stops and never will. The corporate world and its offspring will always take what’s not theirs and then try to make it their own and of course profit from it.

But maybe it’s some type of statement from some sneaky liberal designers or businesses. Maybe it could be some type of response or backlash to the political nightmare we won’t be waking up from until 2020 (or at least we hope). I can’t speak for the rest of my Chicana hermanas but I have to say that it does make me a bit happy to know that the lil gringas will be wearing their cool huaraches everywhere, despite the Trumponian era we’re living in.

It’s like saying, “Take this Trump you mo-fo-! Here’s my gwarucheese (aka huaraches) in yo big ugly orange face!”

 

#lablogadora #chicana #huaraches-are-in #yearoftheMexican #trumponianera

 

Crisis at Cliff’s, really…

I mean really, really.

I can pinpoint the exact moment that my apparent crisis reared its ugly head. I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought the extreme deal $9 tickets for the kids and I to go to Cliff’s amusement park. For my raza in LA and other parts, it would be equivalent to a micro version of Six Flags. Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 1.36.20 PM

I had been listening to the radio and the idea wasn’t bad, “Join us at Cliff’s!” as the commercial had put it, “to kick off another long, hot summer!” I guess the rest of Burque heard the same commercial because they were all there at Cliff’s with all of their crazy kids too.

Okay so back to the story. So I was standing in this long ridiculous line for the log ride that would last no more than 5 minutes (hey, sounds familiar, eh!) when all of a sudden I felt as if I had been sucker punched in the pansa. Out of nowhere I remembered my once upon a time med school path that had been thwarted so long ago. Circa two decades ago I had graduated from UCLA with a hard science degree that was intended to prepare me for the rigors of med school and for various reasons (some that I won’t confess), I did not follow that path.

So as I was waiting in that line trying to ignore the rowdy chamakos next to us, feeling the sweat trickling down my spine that would surely make me look as I had peed my pants (thankfully I could say it was because of the log ride), I suddenly felt so insanely bad, down, confused, stressed, and anxious. WTF had I done? Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 1.42.45 PM

I kept thinking and thinking and thinking, what a mismanagement of time! Even if I had waited to apply to med school after having my eldest, I would have been a practicing M.D. at 30 something. I thought about how many other Chicanas and Chicanos had followed different paths because of lack of adequate guidance and support. I thought hard, trying to go back to that place in time and remember the what, the how, and especially the why the hell not!

“Ay Dios, que fregado me paso?” thought my delirious mind as I stared off watching but not really seeing the hordes of sticky sweaty people all around.

Suddenly I heard the voice of my eldest, “Mom, are you okay?” forcing my being to start its descent back to Earth.

As I heard her voice and saw her sweet face, one of the loud chamakos said something to me but I couldn’t make out what he had said because of the current moment of crisis I was experiencing.

Que? What did you say?”

“I said the ground is lava!” as he laughed and moved forward in the line.

I turned to my hija and said, “What the hell does that mean? Translation please.”

She laughed as she said, “It’s a game mom! It means you have to jump on the rails so that your feet don’t touch the ground, the lava, you get it?”

Really? You want me to jump on the rails when here I am at 40 something (you can easily find out the something by pinche Google if you have to) having a punch-me-in-the-gut realization that maybe, just maybe I had made a major mistake.

I could feel the wave coming on as my being became swept up, drowning in useless ‘what ifs.’

What if I had been advised properly?

What if I had gone to med school?

Would that have changed everything?

Where would I be today?

What would I be making? (OMG probably four times as much!)

Would I still have all my kids, or would a couple of them suddenly disappear?

And so many others …

My brain hurt so much thinking and re-thinking about how and why many of us veer off the path. Are the sayings from our abuelitas true, “que Dios sabra el porque,” and “todo tiene su razon?” Or, have those words been conjured up to appease the troubled soul? Maybe it was my true destiny to become a maestra, or maybe gente I just messed up. Quien sabe!

It took me at least a couple of days to finally shake off that feeling of shame, regret, and of sadness. Yes, sadness that one of my pipedreams would never be met and would forever be remembered with nostalgia.

Wait… when’s the next MCAT?  Eh!

#lablogadora #medschool #chicana

Resurrection

capirotada

All morning long in preparation

Of precious food

To feed

Even more precious mouths

 

It had been years

Much too long

Since I

Had prepared your favorite dish

 

Maybe it was avoidance

Or outright refusal

But today

My hands embarked on the task

 

As I lovingly washed the fruta

And cut everything into

Neat pieces

You came to life once again

 

A melancholy song playing in the background

As I could feel your essence in my

Trembling hands

Assembling everything the way you taught us

 

I could feel you so near

Your forever reassuring presence

Como siempre

Mi querida abuelita

 

Today was not marked

By the resurrection

Of Him

But of You

 

As the elders  taught us so long ago

You continue to

Live on

Inside of everyone one of us

 

I think of you often

And hold you near to

My heart

That will house you until…

 

…the day that

I part

 

#lablogadora #abuelita #capirotada #xicana

Happy Birthday, or not?

 

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-2-01-33-pm

“Eye Awakening” by Judithe Hernandez

As my tío Mazatzin pointed out late last night in his FB post (yes I saw it, just been in avoidance behavior since then), I’ve made it through another trip around the Sun, but barely.

On this day that witnessed my first breath of life, __ years ago (you fill in the blank), that took place in one of the vast concrete jungles in the land of Califaztlan, I am forcing myself to write because writing has always been therapeutic, healing in its form for it allows my ISTJ (introverted) self to connect with feelings that I’ve learned to keep too deep inside, too hidden from the world and especially from those around me.  I write because it is one of my only forms of release.

So today I am sincerely thankful to the gente that have taken the time to send me good thoughts and good energy my way.  I am also most thankful to my mama who brought me forth unto this world, who nurtured me along the way and who has put up with my stubborn brain and being for the longest.

Today I force myself to write these words of recognition and of some type of celebration that I am still here walking upon this Earth, our sacred Tonantzin.  I say force because a large part of my being is on the verge of shutdown mode, of walking along a dangerous precipice leading to a dark downward spiral of nowhere.

Those of you who know me, or can claim to know a bit of me, might understand that this was a most difficult year and to think that it will only a get a bit worse before it can possibly get better.  Big sigh.

The introverted Chicana that I am, wishing so fervently for a better connection with the social self, the self that wouldn’t give a damn about who I told things to or what things I told to who.  Instead I am here, on this day of my birth, walking with mostly dread in the heart.

Lo siento mi día de cumpleaños but I want this day and especially year to be over with already, to become something of the past, a-longer-than-wanted moment that I can look back upon with slight nostalgia but with mostly relief that it’s finally over.

2017, or better yet, 5 Kalli, please be a better one.  Wait, you have to be a better one or I might completely lose it.

This will be the year that as Sandra Cisneros stated during her plug on Latinos USA a couple of weeks ago, it’s finally time for me to marry the most demanding of spouses – that of writing.  What better way of describing the art of and commitment to writing but as a demanding and most jealous spouse? Yes, all of what appear as negative qualities are true but as Cisneros pointed out, it is a spouse that never betrays and never abandons. Brilliant.

So if I’m a bit off or seeming rather distant, it is because I am on mi luna de miel with the greatest spouse of them all – the pen and the word.  Wait, that’s two, even better.  JK.

Feliz cumple a mi.

 

#lablogadora  #Chicana

Who needs the white man…?

Who needs the white man when I got my lil primo to put me down, to oppress me, to hate on me, to trample on me, to remind me of the colonization that lingers on. screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-12-06-46-am

That’s why the system continues to win so cleanly because it has you – mi hermano, mi otro yo – working against me.  Their lily white hands staying so clean while ours are filthy with each other’s blood.

I read about this so many times in those god damned classes but every time my brown eyes would read the words outing us to the world on how we have been more divided then united, I would deny it.  I would say to all of those white folks sitting around me talking about us as if I wasn’t there, that they were so wrong.  The body cringing, sinking lower in my chair.

Four days later and here I am with a figurative stake in the heart, but not in the mind and never in the spirit.

Who needs the white man when I got you?

 

#lablogadora

 

 

Harsh Transitions: From Ceremony to White Space

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 10.12.03 AMHere is my Brown Xicana body sitting in white space and I can’t help but reflect on how the being feels as if it has to suddenly change, a type of harsh transformation where I go from being the real me to having to put on the mask.  I remain aware so that I don’t forget and so that I can continue to resist.

All around me what appear to be beautiful spaces, everything carefully tended to – from the plantas y florecitas to every single item hanging on the walls. Everything so carefully and methodically placed. But what I observe instead of the glossy veneer is the painful condition of whiteness.  Their stiffness and awkwardness of being attempting to seep into me.  I observe how they walk, talk, and interact.  Their every move and word calculated.  Always thinking hard about what they will say, do, wear, stand, eat, I mean everything.

As I eat their bland breakfast devoid of color and spice, I am watching a group of older women, “The Santa Feas,” all decked out with their Native jewelry thinking that by wearing the sacred stones that somehow they can absorb some of the essence of the hands that made it.  An impossible task.  I think about this contradiction – they love to wear the stones carved by Native Brown Red hands but those are hands that they would never love or allow to touch their naked flesh.

A family of four sitting behind me, no one talking. Dreadful silence.  Thinking about my own children and how everywhere we go their freedom of being is demonstrated through their cries and loud laughter.

It’s hard to believe that only a few days ago I was in immersed in the songs.  The drumbeat still resounding in my ears, reminding me that the prayer is for 365 days and not only 4.  The Ceremony, a complete and utter disconnection from la suciedad (a.k.a. la sociedad or society).  La ceremonia, teaching us how to experience life and the world from an entirely different perspective – imparting onto us an amazingly un-ordinary way of seeing.

I can still feel the hot sand under my bare feet as my body moved with the heartbeat of the drum.  Eyes closed but I can see more clearly that way for the lesson is in the heart and in the spirit.

No fancy landscaping.  No elaborate artwork.  No smooth marble finish or automatic coffee dispensers.  None of that.  Instead we are immersed and submerged in everything raw and real.  We become one with the Earth, connected to the tree, connected to each other through the sacred songs.  A giving of thanks through fast, flesh, and blood – something these petty minds trained in the act of continual comfort would never understand.

For 15 years I have been deeply connected to that sacred space. It is the place where I made the commitment to walk the Red Road alongside an Eagle Dancer.  It is the place that has seen my blooming uterus four times over, where my little ones have been raised, Sundance children. Arbors witnessing my struggles and inner battles that I face as a human being who aims for a higher form of critical consciousness, a being who strives to become at least a bit liberated from the pendejada.  A woman who seeks a shedding of the social skin.

I am here, but my spirit is always there.

 

#lablogadora  #whitespace  #sundance  #ceremony  #chicana  #xicana

4 Months, 10 days since…

cara 3It’s been 4 months and about 10 days since that unfortunate day.

Today it would (and should) have been 48 years since you took your first breath upon the Earth but instead you now cover parts of her.  Your being nourishing our Mother Earth.

I haven’t stopped thinking about you, missing you, aching inside.  Being on the hill helped, it helped to keep me moving forward when part of me died with you.  I had gone up with the intent, with the thought that to make peace, I had to let you go.  That’s what the people said I had to do in order to heal. But looking out at the expansive horizon on one of those days it came to me that I never had to do such a thing.  Making peace had nothing to do with ‘letting you go.’  It hit me there and then that you could and would always live on in my heart, mind, and being.  At that fleeting instant I can say that I felt what I would describe as relief, not peace.

I want to believe that I heard your voice and felt your presence while I was there in ceremony.  I asked you if it was okay for me to head down and for a moment I heard your laugh and you said in that super Mexicana/Chicana tone, “Ándale ya vete con tu familia, que estás haciendo aquí sufriendo?!”  I swear I heard you.

Ay Cara.

365 days ago I was with you celebrating this day.  It had been years since that had happened.  Your birthday always coinciding with our ceremonias but you understood.  Although I am still not talking to the Creator (whatever that may be), I am grateful that I was with you last year en tu día in that amazing place that connects us.  Everything was perfect – the lush green view spanning beyond what our eyes could see, the delicious mole with its chiles and spices prepared specially for you, the mezcalito you loved so much, la música, and especially the family and friends gathered around you.

I close my eyes and wish with so much force that somehow I could teleport back to that specific moment in time, just to see you again.

So many things left unsaid.

Te quiero.  Feliz cumple a ti.