All posts filed under: The Political Body

A smiling woman floating in water.

Notes on the Ancestral, Collective & Personal Body

I feel, therefore I can be free – Audre Lorde   personal & collective body I have come to learn that my body is not just my body—it’s an accumulation of freshly scarred histories embellishing the surface of my skin. My body is flesh, soul and history, a combination of intergenerational teachings passed down through lifetimes. My body is woven by threads of ancestors who came before, their ropes tie knots of unrelenting anguish into my cells. Buried within me, a legacy of brittle disempowerment yet to be healed, juxtaposed by a phenomenal strength that bears stories of wisdom, intertwined into my very breath, wrapped around my lungs, pulsating through my blood. I have been transporting stories, both personal and part of the collective through my body, with my body. Collective/ancestral stories occupy my genetics, harvest a crop of tight braids that I am learning to live, learning to loosen, learning to distinguish. Personal stories materialise from outside, settling, at first on the peripheries of my margins, shaped in feelings and silhouettes of consequential experiences. Arriving through …

I Need to Tell You About My Mother

I need to tell you something.  I need to tell you that my mother isn’t ugly.  I was always told that she was. Nobody said it out loud. No one threw fruit, broke mirrors, or howled at the moon when she passed. The u-word was never spoken directly to her face or mine. But when people spoke about her, it was obvious. They talked about her hair, her skin, her size, her face as though they were all somehow wrong. The things she was born with—the hair from her scalp, the color of her skin, the size of her thighs and stomach, her tiny smile—these were all deficiencies. They were lazy, unkempt, unwanted, even when she took good care of them.  Nobody ever spoke to my mother softly. Nobody asked her if she was alright. Nobody made sure she was safe. Nobody went with her to the store late at night or plumped her pillows when she returned. Nobody treated her like she was precious. I never saw anyone take care of my mother. I …