Monday, June 16, 2014
Sister Corn: The Promise / Corn Row #7
Hate, such a strong word. Why when we say love, it feels as if there is a doubt whether it’s true or not? But when I say hate, you don’t question that I really mean it .But let me go back to what I really want to tell you. I love women. I love women as much as I love corn. I am a tortilla born of woman and corn. I’m so lucky.
Being Mexican, it is divine to chomp down on some roasted elote* with or without butter. Or with or without the mayo, lime, chile and parmesan cheese. My mouth waters as I write this. But I love women more than that. Hey!
What do I mean when I say love?
I mean love like I see me and my sisters like corn kernels side by side on a cob. I see my sisters in another cob on the same stalk. I see my sisters on another corn plant in the same field or another field far away. See, I see her like I see me.
I see me in her. I see all of it-the Ugly and the Beautiful along with the Truth and the Lies. And I still I love us/me. Encoded in me is our past, present, and future of women and corn. I like what I saw a Mexican woman hold up on a sign at an anti-GMO protest that read: El maize es mi raiz*.
If Mother Earth is mi Diosa* then its Sister Corn that roots me to her. But what about us, Sister?
Mija*, Kim tells me her biggest worry about going to high school is the fighting she will have to do with the other girls. She says she is afraid she is going have to kick some ass. I say, “Hey, that’s not sisterhood! I understand that ugliness women do to each other. It’s usually over some boy or man. Or who has prettier titties or ass. Crazycrazycrazyassshit!” I can’t believe this is what she is worried about, although I understand we are supposedly mas liberated. Liberated to act violently with each other. Bitch, Puta, Whore, are my masters’ words now my sisters’ word for me? Liberated.
Still what about us, Manita*? What happened to maybe not sister, but what about being comadres* with each other? I mean what happened to a for real COMADRAZO*. What made us lose our ways? How did it get ugly between us?
Let me tell you about my ugly. One day I see one of my oldest friends, who hates me but loves me, who comes up to me at a party. I can’t stand her. Ugh! She is fat, older and disabled, barely able to walk and in a lot of pain. I hate her. I get mean thoughts in my head. Damn. She looks fucked up. And at the same time a deep sadness and hurt. It hurt me to see her in pain. She is another me.
There go I.
And I can’t decide what to feel: My disgust or my hurt? I have no choice but to feel it all. I wail and I wail as I tell one of my Elders about it. She is another me… exactly… like me. What happened to her happened to me. There is no separation between us. She is the kernel next to me.
We are Sister Corn.
Then my partner Jennifer says “Wow. We have been altered like GMO Corn to be not good for each other. I said, “Yeah, we make our own selves sick.”
But what if GMO corn could heal itself? Is it possible? When I ask Jennifer this question she said, “It’s the farmer that needs to heal first.” Then I think are us women waiting for a man to be our savior? Yeah, I think we do want somebody or something else to save us!
I stay stuck and hopeless for a bit as I try and not run away from the feelings and thinking about my own sickness about myself and other women. I know I need to vomit my monster self-disgust and hurt. I don’t what else to do but cry. I wail mas. I wail now as I write this.
I am hurt. Hurt from years of betrayal from everybody. Being used and being loved are two different things! But I’m okay about it. At least, now I know I’m being used and I forgive y’alls’ trespasses.
I already know
Soy Hija de la Chingada*.
But what hurts even more is the betrayal from another woman.
Now, I don’t want to just bitch.
I want to be clear. I want an answer. I want to know how to make it stop! And finally I can think of only one solution-I need a deep love.
Mujer mia* you are worth all my blood, sweat y tears if I win you over and we got each other’s back. But talk is puro pedo* unless you apply it your loved ones. Love is a verb. Love is an action word not a warm fuzzy feeling. Back it up, Curandera*! I talk to mija, Tabby.
Tabby struggles with reading and writing. I tell her its el pinche miedo* y embarrassment. She suffers from DONTWANTABILTY. I tell her she has to do it for herself because she wants it for bigger reason. She doubts her smartness. I am hard on her. I want her in all her power. I tell her that no one… NO ONE…can make her love herself. She has to find that love for herself and that there isn’t a damn thing I can do to make her love herself.
No one is going to love you like you love yourself especially if you are a woman.
Tits and ass is what we are worth and afterwards if we aren’t usable, we feel worthless.
Is your worth based on how you are used or on your looks? Are you loved because of who you are or are you loved for the things you do for people?
We have to make a commitment. A Die till our Death commitment to ourselves and women. We need a big love because like corn we cannot be modified and altered. We cannot let capitalism and a male power system called patriarchy make us hate each other and ourselves.
It’s us that saves ourselves.
But it all begins with each of us making the Promise.
And maybe it’s that energy that transforms, heals and carries us. Maybe it is love/hope/info in our DNA that has carried us this far. And so must our corn heal this way too? So for sure… maybe…Corn will transform itself from self-love too. And if it is possible does healing begin with love?
Bell Hooks said in her book, “All about Love” that she noticed how people had given up on love. I agree we have gotten so used to not believing in Love. As if waiting for safety ever saved us? We even stop loving ourselves. It’s all we see modeled for us and all we see us do all the time. Rose Arellano said in her essay, Rise In Love: On Addiction and Sobriety:
“When I hear the common saying, I fall in love, I envision a persyn falling off the edge of a cliff. Love is pain. I internalized this young. Its love that pushes me off stable ground, its love that hurts, its love that is an addiction. I’m addicted to escapism. I’m addicted to wanting to get out of my brown, queer, thin, small, abled, feminine body. I’m addicted to using this body as social and economic currency. I’m addicted to my ego’s game of using this body to gain over others, to fucking savagely survive any way I can. I’m addicted to substance that takes me away from this weight of my flesh, which feels heavy as 500 years of genocide. I feel gun residue in my bones, rust in my DNA. This addiction is generational, and both sides of my family have passed this gene along. Addiction is written in my blood and, for so long, I felt weak to it. It was my fate, I thought.”
Yeah, that’s the place is where I give up on me and you, Sister. That’s the place where You give up on me and you, Sister. I like how my sister Rose sums it up in her essay again:
“We are cycled through a culture that tells us that love is pain, that tells us that we have no choice in love but to fall, but to escape, but to give up agency over our bodies and behaviors to a chemical. That lie will keep us sleeping and spiraling back into the nightmare that is addiction. There was a time before colonization when my ancestors knew real love. They have guided me to where I am now. My body is a sacred vessel to worship and honor and that is real love. This love will carry me like a bird is carried by wind across continents. I am an ancestor and with this change I cleanse myself of the contaminants of colonial weaponry, heal old traumas, and bring new light into my rusty DNA. This love will take me higher, above my mother’s abuse, above self-hatred, above domestic violence, above addiction, above the act of falling. Now, I know my fate is to RISE in love.”
And so must we rise in love like corn comes busting out of the ground! So surely it must be love that makes it grow just to be corn in all its strength and beauty just like me and you, Mujer.
Rise and stay in love, Hermanitas. You are worth it all.
El maize es mi raiz-Corn is my root
Manita-short version of mi hija-my daughter
Comadres-co mother or bff-best friend forever
COMADRAZO-co-mother/sisterhood/sisters taking care of ourselves
Soy Hija de la Chingada-I am the daughter of La Chingada. La Chingada is the Malinche, the woman who is blamed for the downfall of the Aztecas because she become Hernan Cortez’s mistress. Reality is that she was sold into slavery by her own people
Mujer mia –my woman
puro pedo-nothing but gas farts
Curandera- a healer
Mija-shortened version of mi hija-my daughter
el pinche miedo-the fucking fear
Quotes and many thanks from Rise In Love: On Addiction and Sobriety by Rose Arrellano
From website: http://www.blackgirldangerous.org/2014/03/rise-love-addiction-sobriety/