Today I woke up angry, annoyed, frustrated–at waking up late, not being able to sleep earlier than 4 am, for procrastinating on grad school assignments, at being corrected in a work email by someone outside of my department whom I’ve never met, for not cleaning the house. For feeling so out of control of even simple, daily behaviors like sleeping early or reading a book out on the deck for 30 minutes.
I turned to writing and performing to calm myself. To channel energy into something positive and good and worthwhile. To remind myself of a time in my life when I was surrounded by an incredible community who helped me find my voice and sense of purpose. A community I’m not sure I still have as I have not nurtured it or been part of it for a while. A community I’m hoping is still there somewhere.
So here’s a little poem I wrote ten years ago that I rediscovered just last week. I wrote it for Creative Explosion, the first show I curated and hosted, and which celebrated Asian and Pacific Islander women.
The Fierce Women I Know The Fierce Women I know have fled countries carrying nothing but the memory of their homeland on their skin. They have outlived world wars been bought, enslaved, persecuted and denied the right to an education. They have engaged in battles for their bodies witnessed power corrupt their families and felt the force of a fist against flesh. The Fierce Women I know have survived history's attempts to break us down and wipe us out. They use their strength to rewrite what's miswritten about us fighting slogans and stereotypes stamped across our chests. They roar from rooftops and cages from City Hall to the steps of Congress demanding equal access to resources. For everyone. Fierce Women know their own minds. They call you out on your ignorance and love you at the same time. Fierce women know their own hearts though doubts may set in once in a while. We take on too much but we take care of one another. We cry out in unison when our spirits are broken and wander alone, together until grown enough to return home. Fierce Women may hold grudges but we remain critical and conscious knowing the movement's beyond us and the time and space we occupy. My Fierce Sisters and I misbehave and play outlaw Bound to nothing and no one but to who we are. We are survivors, community organizers, lawyers, students, poets, movers and shakers. We are mothers, daughters, sisters, partners Holding up the sky.
The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center also released CARE PACKAGE today, to help us all heal and live throughout times like these.