November 14th. In the coffee shop, the man in the Make America Great Again hat smiles at me, so I take this as an invitation.
“Pardon me, but I have to ask— do you think Trump’s ideologies keep every person in this country safe?“
He doesn’t hesitate.
“Ma’am, I can’t get wrapped up in identity politics, all I can worry about is how I’m going to feed my girls.”
At my 40th birthday party, an acquaintance asks why we have “so much Mexican art in the house.”
“It might be because I’m Mexican,” I say.
“No,” he laughs, “you’re not Mexican.”
“Yes. I am.”
“No,” he continues, reassuringly, “and if you are, you’re only, maybe, 17%.“
The winter air stiffens between us. An old, familiar pain.
There was a time when I would have thanked him.
The early years, when I wanted only to pass, to rid myself of my last name— the dead giveaway, its muddy lineage
crawl out from the burying shame that held me down every time my father picked me up from school in our shitty car, his bushy mustache & brown face magnified by the sun.
A local white woman posts a photo of her new tattoo: a Mayan god etched eternal on her flesh. When I point out the disrespect, she assures me she speaks Spanish fluently, spent three years in South America.
For the next six hours, I argue with her friends. They demand I quit being so divisive. Judgemental. Close-minded.
“We have a racist running for President, and you’re complaining about a tattoo?” asks the white boy, who spray paints murals all over this city with impunity.
O, to be permitted the luxury of only worrying about one thing at a time.
O, to be white in America, to wake up knowing every god is your god.
When you never see yourself, you search for yourself all the time.
You know the white girl in the sombrero isn’t you. The bro dude in Calavera makeup isn’t either, not the ponchos and glued on mustaches, not the lowrider Chevy in the Disney movie or the hoochie-coochie sex pot on the Emmy award-winning television show.
Maybe you are only this:
the scorched bird pulled from the chimney, covered in soot. Not the actual bird, its velvet sack of jigsaw’d bones, but the feeling of recognition.
The ash of knowing.
A white comedian tells this joke: “I used to date Hispanics, but now I prefer consensual.”
The audience laughs. And you do, too. Until the punchline hardens, translates into a stone in your throat.
You swallow it, like you always do.
You don’t change the channel, but you also can’t remember a single joke she tells after that.
A few months later, the comedian’s career blows up. She’s so real. So edgy. Such a hardcore feminist. When someone writes an essay on her old stand-up routines— noting her blindspot when it comes to race,
her response is:
“It is a joke and it is funny. I know that because people laugh at it.”
If two Mexicans are in a car, who is driving? A police officer.
How do you starve a Mexican? Put their food stamps in their work boots.
What’s the difference between a Mexican and an elevator? One can raise a child.
What do you call a Mexican baptism? Bean dip
How do you stop a Mexican from robbing your house? Put a help wanted sign in the window.
What do you call a Mexican driving a BMW? Grand theft auto
What do you call a Mexican without a lawnmower? Unemployed
What do you call a building full of Mexicans? Jail
How do you keep Mexicans from stealing? Put everything of value on the top shelf.
What do you call a bunch of Mexicans running downhill? A mudslide.
Why don’t Mexicans play Hide ’n Seek? No one will look for them.
What does a Mexican get for Christmas? Your TV.
What do you call the Arizona man shot to death by his white neighbor, screaming, “Go back to Mexico!” Juan Varela
November 29th. For weeks, I’ve avoided eye contact with strangers. My face is a closed curtain. My mouth, the most decorated knife. I pay for groceries, grab the receipt & let my half-hearted thank yous trail like smoke. I no longer want to see who refuses to see me.
Anyone is everyone.
December 1st. I keep waking up. There isn’t anyone white enough to stop me.
Pantomime the living until the body remembers: wicked bitch. Bloodwhirl. Patron Saint of the Grab Back.
Still. Still. Still. Still. Still. Still here.
I etch my own face upon my wicked flesh. I am my own devastating god.
Tlaltecuhtli has both feminine and masculine attributes, although she is most often represented as a female deity. Her name means “The one who gives and devours life”, and she represents the earth and the sky, and was one of the gods in the Aztec pantheon most hungry for human sacrifice.
According to Aztec mythology, at the origin of time (the “First Sun”), the gods Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca began to create the world. But the monster Tlaltecuhtli destroyed everything they were creating. The gods turned themselves into giant serpents and wrapped their bodies around the goddess until they tore Tlaltecuhtli’s body into two pieces.
One piece of Tlaltecuhtli’s body became the earth, mountains and rivers; her hair became trees and flowers; her eyes the caves and wells. The other piece became the vault of the sky, although in this early time no sun or stars were embedded in it yet.
Image Credit - Earth Goddess Tlaltecuhtli by jaggudada
The king vulture was extremely prominent in Mayan mythology, lending its name and glyph to the 13th day of the month (Cozcacuauhtli, or vulture in Nahui). The messenger between humans and the gods was said to be a deity in the form of a winged man with the head of a king vulture, which many have suggested is why the king vulture is called “king”. It was also believed that the vulture’s blood and feathers were cures for many diseases.
Aries : Griffin ( Greek ) - a legendary creature with the body, tail and back legs of a lion ; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle’s talons as its front feet. The lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature.
Taurus : Auðumbla ( Norse ) - a primeval cow ; Auðumbla’s name appears in different variations in Prose Edda manuscripts. In some legends Auðumbla licked man called Búri out of ice blocks.
Gemini : Huginn and Muninn ( Norse ) - two ravens that fly all over the world and bring informations to the god Odin ; Odin gave them the ability to speak.
Cancer : Rain Bird ( Native American ) - a bird who bought rain ; the rain is symbolised as the bringer of life by the Native Americans. The Rain Bird was also often drawn on some of the Native American pottery; it brought life by watering their plants and hence, giving food & water to the animals they hunted.
Locals stumble across ancient Mayan god monument while clearing debris in Mexico
Locals accidentally uncovered an ancient Mayan artefact while clearing debris on privately-owned land in the Mexican state of Chiapas.
The monument, believed to be the head of the Mayan god of maize and abundance, dates back to the late classical period between 600 and 900 AD. It was found underneath a house in the city of Suchiapa.
Archaeologists of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) identified the authenticity and antiquity of the artefact.
The monument has been kept at the Regional Museum of Chiapas since it was found in September 2016.
The Maya civilisation emerged from the Yucatan Peninsula, in the south of what is now Mexico and parts of Belize and Guatemala. It was one of the most advanced and iconic pre-Colombian civilisations. Read more.