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Words To Keep the Uglies Away


I have personal stories of sacrifice, isolation, less than "ness," bouts of invisibility and anonymity. I have stories of scraping by, feeling self pity, undeserved, under served, passed over, quieted, silenced, voice ripped out. 

I think you do too. 

There are a lot of us: female, parallel cultured (Bishop, R. ), from poverty, highly educated BUT. . .(faking it until we make it - we hope)

When we are very lucky, we have gathered other females like us so that we can feed each other, laugh, cry, mourn and support each other. I call these women the mana wahine. Together we keep the fire of our power burning because we hold kuleana (obligation) for each other. But in the in between times when we are alone and doing the heavy lifting of our own passions, we must chase away the uglies of self doubt and "other" ness alone. 

When I am asked to translate my point of view (as if I were not speaking in English), be less emotional, justify. . .when my"other" ness is pointed out through condescending comments, or worse indifference and the look overs and look beyonds, then I need to find a way to "self care."

The essay "On Impractical Urges" by Ayana Mathis in Guernica (2017, April 3) is one of keep for a rainy day essays to help make the uglies go away. I tried to create a "what is sacred" list of quotes but this is going to be my when I am stuck and missing my mothers and feeling like I am faking more than progressing and rambling, always just rambling reads. I know what her intention was in writing the essay but I didn't need to read it to get that message. I instead really honed in on a similarity in story and found comfort in that. I think when I need it, different messages will step forward for me. That is the sign of a powerful essay that it can transcend the need of the author to write the essay and move to the reader who receives something else from the transactional nature of the reading. 

I lie. I cannot let this reading go without one sacred citation:
It is not ever possible to entirely leave behind any aspect of ourselves; we cannot step out of history, personal or otherwise. I come from strugglers. For us, the measure of a life is survival by means of elegant improvisation and
wiliness, grace and dignity in the face of difficulty.
Note, the enlarged text is my chase away the uglies mantra and is not overemphasized in the essay. Yes, I come from strugglers. My children come from a struggler. I cannot change that. May we strive for wiliness, grace and dignity through the struggle. And like my mother always reminds me, may I be kind to boot.

Reference
Mathis, A. (2017, April 3). On impractical urges. Guernica Magazine. Retrieved from: https://www.guernicamag.com/on-impractical-urges/

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