Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Out of the Mouth of Babes....ONE DAY they shall RISE UP.... In Judgment. Will It Be of YOU (perhaps for your silence?)

This past Tuesday was unbelievable......I kept it together pretty much despite the utter shock of witnessing first-hand HB 59 pass out of committee.  Kept it together while talking to my boy afterwards-who followed my tweets the whole time to YET AGAIN watch a GOP majority legislate against him (while in detention he watched the U.S. Senate vote the DREAM Act down-which would have facilitated his struggle to stay inside this country exponentially).  And I kept it together long enough to get through a meeting immediately after the hearing.  But it wasn't until I chatted with Gina, one of the guests from my show and a GA DREAMER, that I felt my inner damn breaking under the pressure of the rushing tide of all of our collective chagrin, shock, anger, and disbelief.  I think I ended up encouraging her, but I really lent her my last ration of hope for the day.  In that hour I exchanged my "beauty" (optimism, defiance) for her "ashes" (do I need to really explain?).
HB 59 is GA's "Anti-DREAM Act" bill which would seek to bar students like my Ali from pursuing higher education in ANY public GA university or college.  (If you would like a blow-by-blow of the events in the hearing, please see my live tweet transcript at http://ow.ly/3XYW7). This past Saturday I had the privilege of interviewing three GA DREAMERS: Gina Perez, Eva Cardenas, and my own Ali.  If you speak Spanish, you are a voter, are relatively uninformed and inactive politically......... allow me to baptize you in the blood of our struggle.  Please have a listen and judge for yourself whether these brilliant minds, hearts, and spirits deserve ANYTHING less than OPPORTUNITY.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Can't Turn to The Left or to The Right (Not Even After A Good Shower)

What is it about a shower..........that lures us in and keeps us captivated under it's cascading spell...........when we have the BEST of intentions that we'll only be there for a quick five?  As we can all attest, that quick five very QUICKLY turns into ten, then twenty, then thirty.............. easily.  It happened to me just now........... and of course, I had to write about it. Alguien mas a quien yo conozco, a quien yo amo tambien se aprovecho de una ducha bien larga.  Porque fue su primera ducha como persona libre....... pues, libre en cuerpo

A lo largo del dia de reencuentro con mi muchacho-ya suelto de su detencion (yes, and PLEASE don't ask me how it happened because the ONLY thing I will be able to tell you is "It was a STRAIGHT UP MIRACLE")-todas las mujeres de su vida logramos iniciarlo en su limpieza mas grande-el de su espiritu y mente que llevaban aparentemente anos enjaulados mucho mas antes que su cuerpo would folllow suit.

Yes, you read it right.  Mi muchacho is out.  OUT.  At least his body is.  His mind............. sheesh........... where do I begin?  I thought I would stop being sad when this day came-because I always had faith that it would (ojo-la guerra no se ha ganado por completo-pero batalla por batalla avanzamos, SEGURO).  But not two days after his release did the GA legislature get to work holding a "hearing" for one of a several anti-immigrant/immigration bills.  Colleagues and I tweeted the hearing throughout the proceedings,they proved to be nothing more than sham proceedings......kangaroo proceeding. Take the comment made by one of these legislators which my colleague overheard: "this is what I overheard outside of the CLOB 506 when arriving at the first and only 'open' House 'hearing' on HB 72 (English Only Driver License Testing Proposed Bill): 'We are just waiting to make sure there are enough Republican's to pass this today'."

WTF??? Herein lies the newest cage for my boy...........  Soooooo telling-when each of the women around the table asked our nene what plans he has for moving forward, la unica cosa that he kept repeating over and over again was, "I'm just gonna not even go out.  I'm not gonna drive.  I'm not gonna drive."  Let's park there for a second.

Se trata de.  Un nene.  De SOLO 19 anos.  Y ya sus planes mayores son quedarse escondiito en la sombra.  Para que no lo detecten.  Nunca mas.  Esta resignado a NO volver.  Tras rejas.  Detenido por indocumentado............ Una condicion que descubri que habia experimentado una vez anterior.....  En su vida tan corta.  (en otra ocasion les digo)

Can you imagine living a life where you fear even going out of your front door?  Upon pulling up to his family's residence I had him on the phone orienting me to the right door, and I noted a cop patrolling the vecindario.  I remember exclaiming, "Diantreee, nene!  Hay policia por to's la'os!"  And he said, "Miss, why you think I been staying in here since I got out?  I told (really pronounced like "toll", lol) you that the police-they everywhere."  He was right.  And I was confronted.
With another realization.  My boy's freedom of movement for all practical purposes ended the day he graduated high school.  And he most assuredly feels that his freedom to dream ended the day he watched the Senate of the United States of America so callously VOTE HIS FUTURE DOWN THE DRAIN.  I liked meeting his aunt VERY MUCH.......una mujer sabia y con cojones e iniciativa (fue ella quien llamo a los Georgia DREAMERs al leer un articulo sobre un muchacho en la misma que el nuestro)-she insists that este muchacho think positively.  Que empiece a visualizar de como es que quiere que sea su vida.  Que no deje por mas que pueda que alguien ajeno determine su destino.  All things I, also, have been beating him over the head with.  I felt good that I wasn't the only one close to him insisting on his tapping into his own personal power.

But HOW do you tell a boy who KNOWS what the GOP in this state is up to and who told me during one of our visits at Stewart, "Obama aint gone do nothing.  He just wants our votes" that it's ok to begin to dream again WHEN HE DOESN'T FEEL LIKE IT IS EVEN SAFE ENOUGH FOR HIM TO MOVE ABOUT HIS OWN NEIGHBORHOOD???  GA's version of AZ's SB 1070 hasn't even made it out of public hearings yet, and he feels his freedom of movement restricted as if it has already been passed and signed into law.  This is so sad.  This is so sad! 

Let me put it to you shockingly, and for some, blashpemingly.  THIS is this child's foremost expectation..... to hear..... His foremost thought as to what will happen si piensa poner un pie fuera de su casa:

And when ye turn to the right hand or when ye turn to the left, thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the police, freeze.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

El Amor de Un Papa....Sofocador y Salvador a la Vez

AAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!! He tratado por  varias maneras de empezar esta escritura.......... La empece primero grabando.  Luego la contemple de forma bilingue.  Finalmente escogio mi corazon escribir en su lengua natal.  Y asi es como se la presentare esta noche........... porque se trata del unico lenguaje que siempre ha hablado mi corazon.......... el del amor..........

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No es un secreto cuanto amo a mi papa.  Tengo su nombre, su caracter, su manera de ver al mundo.......... hasta llevo su inabilidad de quedarse quieto en un sitio por buen tiempo.  Pero lo que si he llevado como secreto por todos estos anos es que como la hija presentada en el audio, yo tambien tenia mis batallas con control y casi llegue a jugar con el fuego de lo que en mi caso hubiera sido la anorexia.  E igual a la perfilada en esta historia, fue mi papa-siendo en mi mente juvenil y sub-desarrollada la causa en parte por mi trastorno-resulto a ser mas que nada el que me desvio arrastrando con el poder de su amor paternal de un camino que seguramente me llevaria a un infiernito.

Mi papa es un hombre Gomez desde su cabeza hasta las unitas de los deditos pequenos de sus pies-cosa que he ido comprobando con los anos al hablar con mis primas sobre sus experiencias con los otros papas Gomez.  La vena que ha recorrido por todas nuestras comparaciones de "notas" sobre nuestros papas es la del aspeto protector de TODOS.  Algunos han sido protectores mas suaves, pero la verdad es que la mayoria han sido de lo mas estrictos-no obstante el mio.  Salio a los suyos.  
PERO, realmente no creo que conto con re-crear su propia personalidad en forma femenina al concebirme a mi.  Pero eso es exactamente lo que le toco.  AND BOY, DID HE CATCH IT!  Suffice it to say, there was ALWAAAAAAAAAAYS a battle of wills going on in the Gomez home entre padre e hija mayor.  Y yo estaba que NADIE me iba a quitar el poder personal.  NADIE.  Y como se dice que nuestras sombras esperan hasta la hora perfecta para sabotearnos cuando menos lo esperamos, eso es lo que me hizo mi rebeldia ciega y enrabiada................. me espero.................

Mi primer ano en la universidad tuve a un noviecito.  El cual no le caia bien a mi papa.  Ya pueden imaginarse la friccion, no?  Estamos hablando de un papa boricua mas tradicional de que se da cuenta a pesar de criarse en el continente y su hija obstinante y terquisima.  Pues, a este paso dirian, "pues, si se estuvo quedando en el dormitorio, cual habra sido el problema ya que seguramente no se habrian visto mucho?"-bueno, quizas personas que desconozcan nuestra cultura diran eso.................. pero yo se que estoy striking a real chord con muchas otras latinas que hicieron lo que yo hice en la universidad:  casi sali de mi casa, jeje.  Aunque ese ano vivi en el dormitorio, toditos los fines de semana me fui para casa.........toditos.  Y mas que eso, mi papa era mi profesor ese ano.................... so there was no way I wasn't gonna see him.  
Para hacer una larga historia un poco mas corta, the battle of wills ensued over whether I was gonna keep this boyfriend or not.  And I was not about to lose.  Pero una cosa que se revelo a traves de la duracion de esta batalla fue que subconcientemente yo habia empezado a acutar en maneras peligrosas para exigir y expresar mi voluntad................ para ejercer control sobre lo que yo queria............................... habia dejado de comer.

Como el papa perfilado en el audio, creo-aunque nunca me ha hablado de esto-que mi papa habia llegado a desesperarse.  El sabia que este muchacho no era nada bueno para mi, y sabia que habia empezado a coquetear con la destruccion de mi cuerpo y salud.  Que hizo?  Bueno............. no se si lo hizo a proposito o paso como uno de esos momentos serendipitous..................... pero ocasiono que durante una de nuestras clases la lectura tuvo que ver con una muchacha con anorexia.  Todas las muchachas de la clase estaban bien interesadas en el tema, que realmente la platica se enriquecio increiblemente que todas beneficiamos del exercise in delineation of facts and cause and effect.  Pero llego un momento en que alguien saco el punto de que la anorexia tiene TODO que ver con CONTROL y no con comida que mi papa y yo intercambiamos una mirada............ bien brevemente................

But it was enough to turn the light on, get me eating again, and ultimately what (among all the other times he has come to my rescue) saved my life.

Esta noche, le dedico mis gracias, como ha hecho la muchacha del audio-a un papa exigiente que sigue queriendo lo mejor para su hija.  Toda mi vida EL ha sido mi bendicion........................