15 January 2017

Diwang Pinay

Last evening, I spent at the Uptown Business Center in North Long Beach with mujeres from Gabriela, a Filipina led organization that advocates for gender issues.


Together, we read true stories of the lived realities of Filipina migrant women who have been manipulated, trafficked, into the US.  Told lies, brought into great debt, and coming from a great need to provide for their families, these Pinays somehow survive.  The story we read aloud last night from the account of an Ate C struck home with me.  It's a story of abuse that is not unlike the story of my Lola.  Although nearly 80 years has passed since Lola came to the US as a War Bride following WWII, these Pinays continue to experience abusive relationships tied in with desparate hopes for the American Dream or Nightmare if you will. For my Lola, this was surviving in a relationship to a violent white (in every sense of the word) husband (my grandfather) in Missouri and then California, and for the Ate whose story I read last night, surviving in the hell of under valued caretaking of white elders in Arizona.

I had to risk it. 
 -- not enough for my family.
They were selling us.
-- I told my children I was ok.
They listened to my conversations and told me not complain.
-- money for education, money for food.
I knew I was in trouble. 
-- (crying)
I borrowed money to pay for training, the passage, the visa.
-- my god. 
There was a naked old man on the couch.
-- trembling.
I arrived in Phoenix and waited for over 8 hours. 
-- my god. 
I had to risk it. 
-- my friends drove out from San Diego with their grandkids in the middle of the night. 
Just me a three elderly people to take care of. 5 hours of sleep a night.
-- my god. 
I had to risk it. 
-- I called my friends. 
I told my children I was ok. 


13 January 2017

Challenges...and essay challenge 2017

Took on a challenge to write weekly, and here it is January 12, and I've not written a thing.  Today, I finally took a moment in the chaos of motherhood to, at least, begin:
Here's my inspiration:

from “In the Subjunctive Mood” by Michelle Morano:

IN language, as in life, moods are complicated, but at least in language there are only two. The indicative mood is for knowledge, facts, absolutes, for describing what’s real or definite.  You’d use the indicative to say, for example:
            I was in love.
            Or, The man I loved tried to kill himself.
            Or, I moved to Spain because the man I loved, the man who tried to kill himself, was driving me insane.
            The indicative helps you tell what happened or is happening or will happen in the future (when you believe you know for sure what the future will bring).
            The subjunctive mood, on the other hand, is uncertain.  It helps you tell what could have been or might be or what you want but may not get.  You’d use the subjunctive to say:
            I thought he’d improve without me.
            Or, I left so that he’d begin to take care of himself.
            Or later, after your perspective has been altered, by time and distance and a couple of cervezas in a brightly lit bar, you might say:
            I deserted him (indicative).
            I left him alone with his crazy self for a year (indicative).
            Because I hoped (after which begins the subjunctive) that being apart might allow us to come together again.



Indicative mood and facts -- for example:
I am a mother.
Or, my child is giving the dog his pacifier.
Or, the light is coming through the window on the couch so perfectly just now; I can see the waves glisten too.
Or, I need a nap because I am a mother and my child is sharing his pacifier with the dog and the couch is so perfect for a nap just now.

Subjunctive mood and uncertainty -- for example:
I thought we could lay down together and take a nap.
Or, I am waiting for my partner to get home so I might nap.

Later, after my perspective is altered -- if I ever get a drink -- I could say:
I’ve been up all night nursing a sick and teething baby.
I will be starting the semester teaching in a couple weeks.
Because I am swamped with sleeplessness and teaching prep I hoped that my child would nap with me in the sun.