Monday, April 19, 2010


I’m parked in my car waiting.

“Maya, please don’t hang upside down.”

“Why, Mama? Why not hang upside down?”

“Because… I don’t know. It doesn’t feel right.”

“Why, Mama? Why does it not feel right?”

“Because… I don’t know.”

Her feet touch the roof of the car. She’s free. She’s free from all of it. Her feet don’t touch the ground.

And I think of the time a white relative said to my Mexican mother,

“There are a lot of Mexicans moving into town. We have to be careful because Mexicans steal. The only thing they won’t steal is children… because they have so many.”

Really? Did you really open your mouth and say those words? Did you look at my mother’s perfect brown skin and use the words God gave you in such a manner?

And I think of the times I was called, “STUPID LITTLE WHITE GIRL .”

And “Your dad is WHITE!” by a Mexican cousin.

So I am wrong. Have always been. White is right. Right? Brown is best. Verdad?

And then there are those that say, “Can you BELIEVE she said/wrote/wore that?!”

And someone recently said, "You just don't fit the mold!"  Really?  I wasn't told there WAS a mold.

Heads shake and tongues are clicked.



Pecking hens. Biddies.

And I am the chicken with her head cut off. Cut off from the presence of their perceived greatness. Have you ever seen that? A headless chicken? I have.

He chopped her head off at the neck with an ax. Blood spurted in every direction. And she ran. She ran in circles searching for her lost head and lost dignity. He held her head in his hands and laughed at my horror. And laughed at her frantic running…. And discounted her pain. And he didn’t see HER. He saw a headless chicken. He saw HIS headless chicken. And she continued to run… until she just … didn’t.

At 15 I stood in the hallway of the church with an over-developed body, frizzy hair and braces. Scriptures in my arms and a timid smile on my face.

I could hear them say, “Look at her clothes! …And her hair! I would NEVER….”.

And then they sang with angelic faces, “As sisters in Zion…”.

So I apologize to the world. I’m sorry for who I am. I certainly don’t mean to MAKE you uncomfortable!

I won’t laugh so loudly. Loud laughter is a sin. I don’t mean to embarrass you. SHHHHHHHHH!

And I think they must say, “How DARE she walk in here with those boobs and shoes and IDEAS! We do NOT agree!” Perhaps if I were fatter… or dumber… a sheep. Ignorance is bliss. But were I a sheep I would be black. BAAAAAAA!

Who told me upside down was wrong? I’ve always just KNOWN it, I suppose.

 Socrates said, “All I know is that I know NOTHING.”

My feet are in mid-air. I struggle to come down for you. I fight and kick and cry and pray… To get right side up for you. To get right side up for All of you with your expectations and judgments and comparisons.

And there are those that Love me that say CHIN UP.   When I turn my chin up high enough I see clouds and sky and birds.  A vast expanse of beauty and truth.  A truth devoid of the erroneous opinions of man or woah-man.  When I turn my chin up high enough I see how small are the petty people.  And this time I'm not trying to convince myself.  This time when i turn my chin up I can breathe and I don't fight back tears.

And now I’m thinking. Why? Why can’t I be upside down? I’ll give you something to talk about. Let’s make life interesting, shall we?