National Comadres Newsletter #17 (October 2021)

Imperfectly Perfect: I think Gloria said it best when she described her path to re-connecting to her spiritual journey and practices; “After being mugged and later suffering a near-death experience and a host of other traumas, I realized that I would go mad if I did not honor the spirit world.  Meditational practice, altar-making, and other rituals helped me to cope with fear, depression, loneliness, poverty, and oppression. –Gloria AnzaldĂșa

I was introduced to Gloria AnzaldĂșa, the woman that would change the trajectory of my life when I was an undergrad at UCSB. I remember the day I walked into my spoken word class, and thought, ‘what did I get myself into?’ I was looking for a class that would help me expand my writing skills. I did not know that this class, this form of art, this particular poet, would awaken my genetic memory and stoke the ambers of my spiritual self that would re-connect me to my ancestors and ultimately save my life.

You see growing up in my Mexican American household, I had to be the perfect daughter; the pressure and the responsibilities placed on me at a young age is a story that we as Mujeres identify with far too often. I was groomed and conditioned to storm any weather, to step in as a parent, a caregiver, a provider, & the mediator for my family; the glue that held everyone and everything together. I had to be perfect. I rode a thin line between holding so much responsibility within my family and also being a young woman with little agency or power over her own life and decisions, which carried into my adulthood.

When I say spoken word and my spiritual awakening saved my life, it did just that, but it also gave me a voice. A voice to say that I am imperfect and that is okay. A voice and a space to speak on my traumas that I compartmentalized to remain perfect. A mouthpiece for those whose stories are like mine, but still can’t speak on it. Spoken word connected me to my ancestors and spiritual healing and journey; it has brought me to the place I am in my career now and I will forever be indebted and ingratitude. Please allow me to share my heart with you, for it has been in hibernation for too long.

A Letter to My Virgencita
You have guided me through my darkest times
Times when hope has slipped through these hands
Hands which forget to pray
Thank and reciprocate
The strength and patience you have shown me.
Devoted to you I am
Afraid for I am in debt
Debt I can’t repay-or even begin to say
Unworthy of your divine beauty and faith
My words Fail Me.
Candles, flowers, prayers, and gifts seem trivial
Compared to the life, spirit, and love you shower me with
So here I stay
Stagnant in my thoughts
Paralyzed by your infinite glow
Offering to write
Palabras de amor
In a letter to my Virgencita
Con agradacimiento y valor

Con Amor y Respeto
Christian Jaimes
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