miercuri, 26 iulie 2017

acculturation

Margarita, a girl (Mexican, that is) on her kindergarten (American,  that is) graduation day:
We are all wearing white, white dress, slip, socks, and, Miss Fernandez, is it alright if our hair is black? (Qtd in Vicki Ruiz's From Out of the Shadows)

duminică, 16 iulie 2017

Little lamb, who made thee?

Little lamb, who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o'ver the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

William Blake, The Lamb (1789)



If I were to believe in a god, I would most certainly not believe in Jesus or the Almighty. Not in the paternal, powerful, threatening and always punishing God, since there are so many things I fail to understand in relation to him: who would be so cruel as to give life to his son and then give him death or who would be so mean as to treat his children differently based on their gender?  
Besides, I can understand or, better yet, accept death but I cannot understand illness. Ok, in his never-ending affection towards us, his children, God decides to punish us for our curiosity. For our thinking outside the box attitude and our creativity.
He decides that we need to die, but why can't we die with dignity? Why must we be so old, so vulnerable and so sick? Why would our father let us suffer so much?!
"The only one I ever liked was Jesus, the baby, the boy. I was always impatient with the crucifixion bit, and I was always mad at his so-called father. God, [...] You know, my grandmother mainly prayed to the Virgin, and, in fact, she told me the Virgin appeared to her in dreams, and once, she said, in a vision. I think she secretly didn't like that God guy either. In fact, if anything, it was as though she emotionally lumped God and the Devil together. Distant, threatening - one threatened if you did, one threatened if you didn't. Both masculine, isolated entities. [...] That God guy has us in a bind. Too isolated, not enough joy. He needs a lover, that's what I think. [...] Yeah, I think God needs some pussy." (Alma Luz Villanueva, The Ultraviolet Sky)
I would much rather prefer the serene, peaceful, mundane Virgin of Guadalupe. La Virgencita. The ordinary, everyday, run-of-the-mill Virgin from Yolanda Lopez's paintings. Because divinity resides in the ordinary. we are god. god is us. god is the ordinary.






miercuri, 5 iulie 2017

Ph.D.

Conceiving a Ph.D. thesis or even dreaming of ever doing so can be a tiresome and nerve consuming activity. Towards the end of the researching and/or writing process, one can get to hate not only all his/her professors and colleagues, but also the subject of the thesis itself. One's life-long, or at least college-long, passion, to put it differently. Yet, from time to time, one accidentally comes upon short phrases, passages that rekindle one's long-forgotten passions. I've just experienced this and want to share with everybody my recently rekindled passion, i.e. latina literature. Though when I feel I hate my thesis the most it is suffice to read only a few fragments from Gloria Anzaldua, this time it's Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street:
Esperanza rejects her inheritance of waiting "by the window her whole life, the way so many women sit their sadness on an elbow". (Cisneros qtd in Quinn-Sanchez's Identity in Latin American and Latina Literature)