There is a Haitian saying that might upset the aesthetic sensibilities of some women. ‘Nou lèd, nou la,’ it says. 'We are ugly, but we are here.’ Like the modesty that is common in rural Haitian culture, this saying makes a deeper claim for poor Haitian women than maintaining beauty, be it skin-deep or otherwise. For women like my grandmother, what is worth celebrating is the fact that we are here, that against all odds, we exist.
Edwidge Danticat, “We Are Ugly, but We Are Here,” Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean
[Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada] argues that ‘any time Hawaiians—or any other native people, for that matter—come out in force to push for more respect for our culture and language or to protect our places from this kind of destruction, we are dismissed as relics of the past, unable to hack it in the modern world with our antiquated traditions and practices.
David Malie, Science, Time, and Mauna a Wākea: The Thirty-Meter Telescope’s Capitalist-Colonialist Violence, Part II
“I wrote my way out of h e l l. I wrote my way to revolution, I was louder than the crack in the bell. I wrote Eliza love letters until she fell, I wrote about the Constitution and defended it well. And in the face of ignorance and resistance, I wrote financial systems into existence. And when my prayers to God were met with indifference, I picked up a pen, I wrote my own deliverance.”
So last semester right after trump won the electoral college, a local bunch of neo nazi ass hats went around my college campus and put up flyers. I had an earlier class so i saw a bunch of them on my way to class. I wasn’t really expecting white nationalists to plaster my school in the night.
They were taken down pretty much immediately before a lot of other students saw them, which is good, but they havent really 110% come off the walls. Some parts of the glue and paper are still stuck there.
I hate having a reminder every time I turn my head on campus, and I’ve gotten tired of looking at them. Im an artist so i took my chalks and rode my bike around campus. I drew pro lgbt, pro civil rights, and pro love stuff on top of all the bits paper still on the wall. I didn’t get photos of all of them because it started getting dark, but i went through a lot of chalk. There was a lot more than i remembered. I also may have encouraged punching your local nazi.
Still haven’t finished BotW so I still don’t know jack about Ganon’s cannon (heh) state in that game, but I came up with the idea for an AU of Ganondorf reappearing as a human when Link doesn’t wake up and the Divine Beasts start wrecking the world. Rather than destroying the world, he presents himself as a savior, with Hyrule Castle as the one safe haven in Hyrule. With the Beasts and the Guardians he funnels the world’s survivors to him who begin praising him as a god. Any who speak against him tend to disappear without a trace except the occasional banana peel.
Only a few pockets of life exist outside of Hyrule Castle’s walls now, and the only significant resistance to his domination is in a Zora prince, a young Gerudo Queen, a Rito warrior, and a descendant of the Goron champion.
that I’d look back upon my present grin and see nothing but complacency and settlement; that the unforgivably significant small moments I’d been holding on to so dearly would reveal themselves to be nothing but guises; that what I was experiencing was not happiness at all, but rather a deliberately placed shield, by my own hand, in an effort to avoid the inevitable conclusion that I’m…well, that I’m not happy.
But then again, I have to ask: what makes this any more real? Sitting in Caitlin’s apartment kitchen, looking out the window to the first piece of blue sky I’ve seen in a week, feeling the island work itself into my complex sensory—what makes this genuine and the former not? Because I’m tempted to say that it’s all relative, that happiness isn’t some blanket statement applying equally to all that seek it. Because wasn’t I happy then? Walking into work, seeing her sweater vest of the day and long dark hair, feeling a jump in my step; practicing solitary life, then rejoicing when I found love again; acting so genuinely as myself that it ceased feeling like myself? Because I feel genuine in saying that this isn’t any more me than the me that typically exists…I’ve just faced more resistance, more questioning, cursory looks at who I am, that I’m forced to wear it proudly.
Then, I fear, I was so deeply comfortable that I forgot when to fight.
But I am not the product of segmented thrill, moments tediously chosen to drag me through those less than. I am not the thoughts that I think, the people I meet, or the places I am. If I believe in anything, it’s that what’s to come will always be greater simply because I understand what I didn’t before: that I will never reach static gratitude, nor love, nor simplicity, but will eternally oscillate between.
So, it’s clear to say, I’m not sure who I’ll be when I return. I don’t know how I’ll be with others in the way I did, so confident with love and direction. How can I look into the faces of those I’ve broken myself for and feel that they still deserve? How can I love, genuinely, knowing they’ve disregarded my heart?
And, most pressing, what do you do when complacency falls out of step, and real love falls in?
I may be wrong, but I think I’m about to find out.
Location: Waipio Valley, Island of Hawaii Instagram: plvntstrong