She spreads me whole as a quilt beneath the sun like the sands at her shore. I cannot lay down my burdens, neither there nor at the riverside. Though heavy, there within lie the keys to my liberation./ No puedo dejar mi carga ni ahí, ni en las orillas de sus ríos. Aun siendo muy pesada la carga, dentro de ella están las llaves de mi liberación, pues cargo con ella.
We the survivors of genocide, who swam through fallopian tubes not yet tied, but soon to be cut. We set out with babies in tow, in search of the violated womb because if we return to her, we can wage reciprocal healing. We wade, swim, swallow salt waters whose currents still mark the road maps of our ancestors taken, our ancestors fleeing. We flee.
Vulnerability in bravery means pushing forward with all your wounds, gripping a shovel tight with bloody hands, digging past the mud to find the spaces and hearts where our ancestral ways thrive, where new liberatory ways are being weaved into existence./ Vulnerabilidad en valentía significa seguir palante con todas las heridas, agarrando la pala, manos ensangrentadas, excavando la tierra para encontrar los espacios y los corazones en donde nuestras tradiciones ancestrales prosperan, donde se tejen nuevas existencias libertas.
It is time to focus on the colonial classroom, the empire’s primary battleground. The threat goes beyond school closures. It includes the continued attack on the one public university system in Puerto Rico. It is embodied by a white North American secretary of education with an inflated salary, while her school children constituents are sacrificed at the austerity table of odious debt. It resounds in the arresting, pepper spraying and tear gassing of people protesting injustices like these. Ultimately the colonial battle is waged daily on the minds and on the psyches of the colonized, with schools cunningly crafted for the conformity and conditioning of the colonial subject.
Most moments of my day I’m trying to figure out a plan to acquire my own piece of land, to make my lifestyle completely sustainable, to embody the liberation that I strive to practice daily until we can acquire it fully. But sometimes the spirit needs to stop and look at the photos. Honor the moments, the memories, the lessons.
Charco-crossers like myself arrive at a space where we feel divided: our bodies on one side, hearts and spirits in another. Our home on one side, work on the other. Many of us have either lived on each side or travel and work extensively on both sides. Others adhere to one side only, adopting and... Continue Reading →
We leave lands but cannot take the remains of our lost loved ones with us. We leave the monuments behind but bring the memories with us. My son who carries his name, also carries my brother's same birth mark on the bridge of his nose. I said goodbye to all of his Ozone Park and... Continue Reading →
It happens at random, unexpected, un-welcomed times. It happens with flashes of images, of sites, of memories imprinted in your mind. Flash of a desolate Atlantic Avenue heading into Jamaica, Queens. Flash of bunnies hopping over ancestral graves in Cypress Hills cemetery where Schomburg, Houdini and your whole departed family are buried. Flash of the... Continue Reading →
I took a break from this blog… because deadlines happen; because other projects happen; because life happens; because sometimes you lose light and water. Here, we have an agreement. All work/ art/ architecture related deadlines coming through this home/ office/ studio space are to be completed the day before or earlier. We must allow at... Continue Reading →
Every migration has its push and pull factors. The current Puerto Rican migration narrative mostly speaks of a colonial fiscal crisis pushing people in droves to US cities in search of jobs and opportunities. My maternal grandparents were part of the last mass migration. They crossed el charco from Ponce to East Harlem in 1950.... Continue Reading →