Category: Uncategorized


The road we follow

The Road We Follow

            In life we have many choices and roads to follow, with every step we take, we unleash a chain of events that lead us closer to where we are supposed to be. Every single human just like a character in a novel explores a path towards life and space aiming to arrive to its destination or a pleasant state. In the novel Unending Rooms by Daniel Chacon the many collective stories found, narrate this very path for self-fulfillment and traveling. The characters much like all of us follow a path and learn from it making it highly significant within his/her life.

            One of the major themes in the collective story novel just like life itself is the search for self-actualization. Mostly all of the characters within the various stories explore a path towards this space in life, sometimes getting to where they desire or the place where they are really supposed to be, and even sadly the place that holds them back and releases them only after they have learned a major lesson. Within the novel the short story El Regalito, narrates the story of such characters path and many options that can potentially lead him to his premature death or his happy future. The Tourist, a 36 year old, high school teacher from Wisconsin, decided to have an extended stay in Mexico were he eagerly hoped to find a beautiful wife to marry. Going back home to a place no one wanted him made him depressed and refused to leave without the love of his life (Chacon, P.52).

            On the way to a small church party for a priest The Tourist stops to buy a small hand made cross as a gift after much talking and arguing with the poor vendor he looses his bus. Later we find out that if he were to have taken that bus he would have met a beautiful girl, left the cross on his seat, only to walk out of the bus (after missing his stop), the girl telling him he forgot his bag, then get killed by a speeding car (Chacon, P.58 &61). If the tourist had taken that option he would have never had the life he deserved and leaving the beautiful girl dying alone and heartbroken. On the other hand, The Tourist missed the bus then took another and arrived safely to the church, after the party they all decided to go to a bar. On that very same night that one beautiful girl and her friends went to the bar where both of these two characters met. This very night both characters decided to travel that road together, were they would be happy and create a whole new life with each other, fulfilling their life desires.

            In the Buddhism philosophy the concept and practice of being in the moment is preached. “Actually, being in the moment means being mindfully aware of what is going on right here and now, in our experience, and this includes any thinking we do about the past or future. A lot of the time we are like robots, automatically living out habitual patterns of self-pity, anger, wish fulfillment, fear, etc” (WildMind 2010). The story called Page 55 makes a metaphorical comparison of life being like a book and how we tend to read that book is the way we live and look at life. That maybe our lives are like books people may view them as not as important, oversee some lives, or not worth it but within us all there is a great something worth more than anyone can ever imagine. The characters realization in this story is that he wants to enjoy life more to the fullest, to understand it, to not go through it so fast without really seeing. He doesn’t want to live his life like he is reading a boring book skipping the pages not understanding what he is reading nor enjoying it.

            In the short story Soul Library, the characters life and his path reflect absolute learning from this travel and have utter most significance in his life though he needs to learn to live and enjoy the chaos his newfound wisdom has brought him. A mystic called Swedenborg, Cayte, et al, believe that all we learn, see, hear, taste, feel, and experience through every second of the day is recorded and stored in a library with entries called “soul entries”. That when we die we become spiritual bodies with the makeup of these entries (Chacon, Pg. 103).

After much searching, our old character goes on a visit to Tepotztlan, Mexico, were on one night an old man reading his mind gives him a pellet to help him get to the soul entries. After some nights, the old man eats this pellet and goes through a life journey remembering every single detail he has ever learnt and gaining wisdom he thought was lost. He remembered every world ever read, every person ever met, everything he had ever came across. He remembers his true love Nora, who got away. The character sadly undergoes insanity from so much knowledge and cannot seem to quiet his mind. He does not want to die no more, he wants to live forever, acknowledging he cannot change memories but rather sits and cries for Nora. He cannot learn anymore (his passion) only collected and organize the things in his entries (Chacon, Pg. 111). The character walked the path he wanted to follow even though wisdom and knowledge brought him no happiness; he arrived to his stop, only to learn all and nothing at all.

The path of life and space within this world and inside all of us is filled with many paths and ways some sad, some gray, some sunny, and some just basic normal streets. Every chance we take, every action we do is as strong and beautiful as the flapping of a butterflies wings causing an effect so potent it leads us to a new path as fast as the speed of light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Chacon D. Unending Rooms. New York: Black Lawrence Press, 2008. Print

Wildmind. 2010. Bodhipaksa Being “in the moment”. Wildmind,

 

Buddihist Meditation. April 2012. Retrieved From: http://www.wildmind.org/background/moment

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Roles of Women

            The traditional views on women have always been challenged despite the everlasting beliefs of how a lady is supposed to act. Time and time again in the media, the arts, work fields, politics, in our community, and even in our own household one can witness the battle of women trying to overwrite pre-judgments and norms. Books such as The Hummingbirds Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea, The Declaration of Sentiments, and essays from philosophers can show us how times have changed.  The views once imposed are decaying, as women rights become dominant and marking major keystones in the history of woman suffrage.

            Women are viewed as fragile, beautiful, loving, bossy, emotional, weak, lady-like, mothers, objects, inferior to men, stay at home servant, and many other things depending on what culture one were to look at. Around the world women are treated sometimes lesser, stoned to death for “crimes”, not hired for jobs due to its gender, lesser pay, discrimination, female sexuality is sometimes tabooed, etc. The female gender is seen as the weaker link who need a man to take care of them while obeying orders, being always in the house, procreating, “making a man a sandwich”, and not having any dreams of her own except being a stay home mom and wife with no opinion.

            Through the history many individuals have taken into their own hands discussing the role of the women. Sigmund Freud in his essay Civilization and Its Discontent went as far as to say how women were the enemy of civilization. According to Freud, women are conservative filled with loving thoughts when it comes to new cultural trends. Women represent interest of family and sexuality only and that business is only for men. Culture and the world itself send women to the background making her a bit resentful. Women according to Freud are less capable of things for men have no mental limitation (Freud, 1929, p. 25). Thomas Jefferson also had the same traditional views on women and forbid them to vote since they had small minds and were to be confined in childbearing and housekeeping as well as attending to the needs of any men. Women were to be excluded from all public affairs since they were useless and served more as a mother or wife. (Jewett, 1997).

            Politics in the United States are also viewing woman as a childbearing corporation. Certain politicians and political scientists like Rush Limbaugh are saying that women are only meant to give birth and with the use of birth control and being educated makes women look like sluts. Some of the women cannot afford a child right now and need to take the pill. Some simply don’t want a family. They cannot control women in such way. Religion, politics, and self-opinion, should never be mixed with each other. “Well the truth is women are only equipped to give birth. What do women know about legislating birth control?” This was said by one of the members of the U.S House of Rep. in the GOP hearing earlier this 2012.

            Meanwhile, in the Chicano culture, men and traditional beliefs are also very manly and sexist. “She is an ethnic minority, she is woman who is universally oppressed by men, and her Chicano heritage exaggerates this male domination over women. Women across the vast majority of cultures are considered subordinate and are universally oppressed by her male counterpart. In addition, there is also an internal oppression caused by the Chicana heritage. Some identify this as machismo and caused by the colonization of the Chicano” stated Erin Lambers and Kelly Kieft (UMich, 2012). Within the Chicano culture there is a culture of “machismo” which means sexist or masculinity syndrome. Men have to be the providers while women must attend to the things at home, the children, be passive and submissive, follow religious Catholic rules, and serve him, failure to do so makes the man angry and violence towards the female counter part might occur, as it has been in many cases. Chicano culture has a sense of family values that must be kept and making woman inferior is one of them.

In the Chicano novel, The Hummingbirds Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea offers a realistic picture of how the woman is supposed to act, behave, speak, and even what to wear. The novel also makes humanity witness the beauty and strength of women and how powerful they can truly be if they are set free. Teresita and Huila show us the different sides of this little world showing how a woman can be gifted by being a curandera and helping people, having the hearts of many, and giving the gift of hope. Even as to become named the most dangerous women in Mexico in reference to Teresita. But on the other side, tradition tells us women are only meant to be in the kitchen, for children, and to attending to men. Those who are different are abolished and looked at badly even in the eyes of a Roman Priest. The sermon of this believed to be priest/pope makes it appear as if any women who is a fighter, filled with love, and truth as well as trying to help humanity even more so than a man could ever do is a harlot from Satan (Urrea, 420-421). For the less religious, this harlot could mean that she is the scum of the earth and a fake. The gender implications found in this sermon from the “heretic” priest are simply that women cannot be stronger than man in any sense. It is not viewed right that women hold the reigns of households or have the power of being a leader. A woman cannot heal, have her own thoughts/actions/words, education, and be an individual standing tall even when married.

            Through the book we see the roles of women change from the norm with characters such as Huila, Cateyana, Teresita, Dona Loreto, and even Gabriela Cantua. To start of with Huila, she is intelligent, wise, and powerful, speaks her own mind, and has direct connection with nature, spiritual world, and that of humans. She is a curandera and has the ability to heal whomever by using natural remedies and prayers, help women give birth, and cure men. Huila always had a crude sense of humor/speech and an attitude, people were surprised that this holy woman with a shawl and shotgun was a servant for Don Tomas; that very same woman who’s blessed hands brought babies to the world, drive wicked spirits away, made remedies with teas, could ever work for someone (Urrea 47).  Her power just like the other women in the novel seem to come from God which is more than acceptable in the highly religious/superstitious community. She is an inspiration for other women and a big help for men. 

            Teresita, the daughter of the hummingbird and the most special and powerful woman in Mexico who even threaten the president and other governmental/authority figures but, cured many and brought back hope and belief. Teresita is the daughter of Don Tomas, student of Huila, and what The People call a saint and a revolutionary figure. She has many powers; she first starts with the power of healing through herbs/nature, prayer, and being a midwife. This wonderful girl refused to be like the typical daughter of a higher ranking person, Teresita “refused to wear a petti-coat. She did not like hats, however, and rejected out of hand the small pillbox-and-veil. She refused to stick out her pinkie when sipping. It was, after all, her body” (Urrea, 244, 245). After some time she was raped and died but as some days past she resurrected and was granted even more healing powers, this time with a simple touch. Teresita must be considered the most dangerous woman in Mexico due to her death and reanimation bringing her healing powers more abundant than before. People all over go to see her because she is so powerful and a saint and they want to be healed. She is considered to be a queen and people will listen to her. President Diaz feared revolution from the people due to her and even turbulence in his presidency for she has power over the people.

            Dona Loreto (Don Tomas’ first wife) and even Gabriela Cantua (Don Tomas’ second wife) show in certain instances a breaking of the traditional norm. Dona Loreto is very vengeful when found out that Don Tomas had cheated on her and had many children on the side. She had the right to do so however, she would break things, throw things, and insult everyone and everything when seeing Tomas (Urrea, 206). The visits paid to the house of Tomas were also very gruesome. Someone might expect her to act lady like and just sit back while her husband defamed her very soul. Gabriela Cantua was very lady like in the entire novel except when it came time to defend the house and Teresita from the military and people wanting to kill her she was loaded with an arm ready to shoot anyone who walked into the door (Urrea, 441).

There have been many powerful women just like Teresita might have been in real life. Some of the women that have changed the world are Abigail Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Jane Austen, Gabrielle Chanel, Princes Diana, and Mother Teresa, the many women in the army and armed forces, Hillary Clinton, Amelia Earhart, Ella Fitzgerald, Anne Frank, and many other smart wonderful women.

            Despite the rather old conservative ideas many had upon women even the gender itself, the times and reasoning’s of the human mind are changing and challenging the traditional views upon women. The world as we know it has been slowly changing in a great manner to favorite women however, not in all places. In the U.S women are able to sometimes get an education/job equivalent of that of a man, be in the business field and be even more powerful. They don’t need to depend on a man to take care of them, and take the initiative in many things in life. There are some women out there who lack education (due to poverty), or that culture forbids them to gain suffrage, just as well as women who are not completely aware that they have rights. In some cases, women are still viewed by objects and less, for there are men out there who are sexist, with too much pride on their hands, who believe they can boss/push a women around or treat them as slaves.

            Education and the life expectations of women have in fact changed through decades but we have to keep in mind that not in all places has this been the case. Education is now given to women of all ages despite the profession and aids to study are even available. It is required for everyone this includes women to study. The expectations of life are now different for woman now have the choice of working, taking care of themselves, getting married or not, having children, divorce, or having any kind of power.

            In 1848, the Declaration of Sentiments was signed; it consisted of a document giving women rights and suffrage. More than 60 women and 40 men signed it. These women who signed the document became role models and revolutionary mothers for many women of all ages and decades.” He has made her, morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes, with impunity, provided they are done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master – the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement” (Declaration of Sentiments, 1848).  In the year 1919, The 19th Amendment was passed into the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote setting a major keystone for women. In these years women of all ethnicities have been succeeding in the work place and economics making them the most hired and paid employees. For example as of 2008, management and professional occupations have 52,761 females; Service Occupations, 24,451; Sales and Office, 35,544. Natural resources, construction, and maintenance

Occupations, 14,806 (Census, 2010).

            Women Rights and laws are also on the rise as women are constantly asking for equality. Governmental services now offer various plan parenthood clinics, women services (clinics to help with body issues or being a mother). Other rights and educational services that are on the rise are the awareness of breast cancer, rape, abortion, reproduction, employment, body rights, and even childcare. A group that is very potent and always eager to help fellow women is the feminist movement and feminists themselves. One of the main groups that are always defending and helping women is called the Feminist Majority Foundation. This foundation helps to advocate many issues including various campaigns for women around the world, leadership programs, scholarships, education, body, life, and policies. “The Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), which was founded in 1987, is a cutting edge organization dedicated to women’s equality, reproductive health, and non-violence. In all spheres, FMF utilizes research and action to empower women economically, socially, and politically. Our organization believes that feminists – both women and men, girls and boys – are the majority, but this majority must be empowered” (FMF, 2012).

            The powers of women are something heavenly for such creature with fragile hands can cure; give life, fight, and even kill. Traditions will always remain but as the world and minds evolve the barriers and false judgments and expectations upon women as well as men decay slowly. “It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union…. Men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less. “ ~Susan B. Anthony

 

 

 

 

           

 

Works Cited

Census. (2008). Employed Civilians by Occupation, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin:2008. Census. Gov. 2012. Retrieved From: http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2010/tables/10s0603.pdf

Encyclopedia Britannica. (2010). 300 Women who Changed the World. Encyclopedia Britannica. 2012. Retrieved From: http://search.eb.com/women

Feminist Majority Foundation. (2012). FMF. 2012. Retrieved From: http://feminist.org/welcome/index.html

Jewett, T.O. (1997). Thomas Jefferson’s Views on Women. Early America. 2012. Retrieved from: http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/fall97/jeffersn.html  

Lambers E. & Kief K. Chicana Feminist Theory and Chicana Feminist Issues. University of Michigan. 2012. Retrieved From: http://www.umich.edu/~ac213/student_projects05/cf/issuestheory.html.

National Park Service (2010). Declaration of Sentiments.  National Park Service. 2012. Retrieved From: http://www.nps.gov/wori/historyculture/declaration-of-sentiments.htm

Urrea, Luis.A. The Hummingbirds Daughter. New York: Little, Brown and   Company, 2006. Print.

 

 

 

Revolutionary Norms

 

            Abuse and sexuality are two themes that are shunned upon by religion teachings and the Bible. This is a problem because many people are struggling with gender issues. Catholicism teaches us to go strictly by the Bible and its teachings, which is a very part of the Mexican culture. On What Night Brings by Carla Trujillo, Marcy an innocent 11-year-old child prayed every night to God or Baby Jesus to grant her two things, one was to change her gender, and the second, was to make her father disappear. According to her family’s religious beliefs, these two thoughts were against religious views. Therefore, how is a person’s desire to change her gender and do something against an abusive relationship, in conflict with Catholicism and cultural values and family norms?

            The innocence and curiosity of Marcy on sexuality and homosexuality followed by religion plague most of her mind. Every prayer of hers is either for God or Jesus and any saint possible to turn her into a boy or give her a birdy, as well as the disappearance of her father. She knew both things were a sin to ask for since religion looks down upon both. After hearing her father who she calls Eddie call her Uncle Tommy queer she begins wondering on the meaning and validity of such word. On one of her visits to the library her interest for the word “queer” arises and decides to look it up. “Queer: differing in some odd way from the normal, eccentric, sexually deviated, homosexual, strange….” (Trujillo 134). Marcy therefore remembers how her uncle always goes to church and how she had found him and Father Chacon in the same confessional booth. In the dark church she hears laughs and noises coming from the confessional booth, making her aware that it was not a confession at all. After a while, she saw her uncle coming out with his shirt un-tuck and later Father Chacon. This made her question what really happened in there. (Trujillo 77-78).

            After some thought the innocent Marcy acting like a detective decided that the word “queer” was something bad and even started questioning the church and its ideals. The word homosexuality made her realize her uncle might be just that and his marriage a disguise as well as both Father Chacon and him to follow religious orders. Marcy also takes into consideration how she is also queer since she likes Raquel and she is a girl liking another girl; which was the purpose of church to make you queer. How the Father didn’t really see her confession of liking girls as bad. This makes her question herself even more (Trujillo 137). These specific associations can be a revolutionary way of thinking as Marcy being such a young child is opening her mind to other ideas, accepting herself, getting education on the subject as well as others, and questioning the church/religion and why certain actions were bad.

            The novel raises questions about the current political debates on “family values”. Heterosexual relations are the social and religious norms but in many ways this book is questioning such norms. El Paso sure does share the Mexican traditions and beliefs of religion. But being religious doesn’t mean you will be a good person or have a great family spearing them from the abuse many men and even women push onto their families. Mexican men are very sexist and macho. Women have to stay in the marriage because according to religion and their family it is a sin to get a divorce or feel like they might be breaking a promise and causing great dismay to family. Kids remain quite because they are supposed to be good to their parents.

As for sexual desire it is normal and hormonal as well as an aim to look for closure and love in the wrong places or people. Marci is young and she believes a girl can give her love because she doesn’t get that at home and her dad is an awful man probably giving her fear of getting with a man who might abuse her as well. It can also be just an experimental case.

Religion and social norms bring so many issues to generations of all ages. The questioning and urge to defy what the laws that have been establish demand upon will always kill part of the spirit. Sexuality is a beautiful thing and shouldn’t be shunned upon it is humane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources

 

            Trujillo C. What Night Brings. Connecticut: Little, Curbstone Press, 2003. Print.

 

 

Freedom

 

            The most beautiful emotion a human can ever feel is the one of being free from any chain that holds one a prisoner to any circumstance or matter. The feelings of liberation, breaking free, running away, the feeling and action of being forever emancipated is a great treasure.  To become your own protection, to escape from painful people and situations, and the amazing feeling of starting on a clean slate and eliminating the fear of losing everything including yourself. Freedom and the act of emancipation cannot be concretely explained but any human being can agree it is what they are searching for.

            In the novel In Perfect Light By: Benjamin Alire Saenz the theme of freedom and emancipation runs through the pages. Many characters in the novel such as Mando, Yolie, and even the children Ilinea and Andres are too; just as the adults like Grace, Andres (who is ever looking since child), and what seems to be all of the characters in the novel at some point or another such as Liz or Mister even Richard (Grace’s Doctor) or Dave. Every character is a mere reflection of real life characters that search constantly for something such as freedom and even forgiveness (in Andres’ case with Mrs. Fernandez or Grace with Sam and her son).

            Emancipation or emancipated means “to free from restraint, control, or the power of another; especially: to free from bondage 2: to release from paternal care and responsibility 3: to free from any controlling influence (as traditional mores or beliefs)”. As explained by Merriam Webster Dictionary. This verb has also been used in past history and legal terms such as civil rights movements, Emancipation Proclamation, voting, Emancipation day, slavery, Marxism, religious terns/motives, child emancipation from parents or family, and on personal levels from a certain event/situation or circumstance.

            Andres Segovia is one of the characters in the novel that is looking for emancipation a complete freedom from the life he has led and is living. Segovia whose parents got killed in an accident went through a troubled life because of it. His rape and anger causes him to spin out of control and his remembrance of the past still holds him victim. Andres is trying to free himself from the hurt and loneliness. He is trying to forget and fight his demons causing him to never get anywhere good. After being so many times in jail and being alone he wants to be set free somehow he wants to find love to be that little boy he used to be. The way he is reaching his emotional freedom is by taking his anger out in an unhealthy way then later followed by hours and days in council with Grace Delgado. His memories and thinking though they always hit a chord will eventually lead him to heal himself and for forgiveness of his own self.

            The two brothers and sister, Mando and Yolie, were too looking for emancipation both legal and anarchistic wise. Mando was always fighting with his father and there were always screams in the house. Yolie as well as Mando were always disobeying their parents they were the typical rebel teens. They wanted to create their own lives without their parents’ orders and demands. After the death of their parents both were somewhat released from always doing what their “strict” parents always said. Mando became emancipated from them since he was 18 and was free to do as he pleased. Yolie was younger but also wanted to do as she pleased. Mando took the family with the help of Yolie to Juarez to live where they were free from any morals, laws, rules, etc. They were running away from the fear of their own emotions after the death of their parents as well as the desire to run their own lives. They with took this plan successful at first for Mando was working and bringing money to the house but later problems arise with the two figures due to partner issues and lack of money. They had at last become adults left with their own decisions like they wanted to. Unfortunately, depriving the kids from a childhood and a life well stabled like the one the Fernandez family once promised.

            Mrs. Fernandez became a paternal figure to the children when the passing away of the Segovia coupled occurred. Gladly she took the children into her house together with her husband who too became like the new father. For Andres Segovia, the second youngest of the kids, Mrs. Fernandez symbolized his own mother; so loving, so beautiful, and nice. Andres connected her to his mother almost exactly like her. After Mando took the children away from the Fernandez household, Andres felt guilty for having gone with them and not staying, or giving even a simple explanation. Andres never went back to say sorry after the mess they had made and how they had left without any explanation. When he wants to say sorry to Mrs. Fernandez he is actually apologizing to himself for accusing his own child self of having gone with his brother/sisters. For having done of life such a mess and depriving himself from an education, writing, his life in El Paso that he wanted, his bike, everything that he had before and that he had pushed away and shut down just like his own future life.

            Every human in this planet is searching for something specially freedom. Freedom is often searched for, from the every day life, the monotonous lifestyle, the pain and hurt, the past, the loneliness. It is the most beautiful gift of the soul ever to be received. 

Views on Women Challenged

 

            The traditional views on women have always been challenged despite the everlasting beliefs of how a lady is supposed to act. Time and time again in the media, the arts, work fields, politics, in our community, and even in our own household one can witness the battle of women trying to overwrite pre-judgments and norms. The Hummingbirds Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea offers a realistic picture of how the woman is supposed to act, behave, speak, and even what to wear. The novel also makes humanity witness the beauty and strength of women and how powerful they can truly be if they are set free.

            Teresita and Huila show us the different sides of this little world showing how a woman can be gifted by being a curandera and helping people, having the hearts of many, and giving the gift of hope. Even as to become named the most dangerous women in Mexico in reference to Teresita. But on the other side, tradition tells us women are only meant to be in the kitchen, for children, and to attending to men. Those who are different are abolished and looked at badly even in the eyes of a Roman Priest. The sermon of this believed to be priest/pope makes it appear as if any women who is a fighter, filled with love, and truth as well as trying to help humanity even more so than a man could ever do is a harlot from Satan (Urrea, 420-421). For the less religious, this harlot could mean that she is the scum of the earth and a fake. The gender implications found in this sermon from the “heretic” priest are simply that women cannot be stronger than man in any sense. It is not viewed right that women hold the reigns of households or have the power of being a leader. A woman cannot heal, have her own thoughts/actions/words, education, and be an individual standing tall even when married.

            Through the book we see the roles of women change from the norm with characters such as Huila, Cateyana, Teresita, Dona Loreto, and even Gabriela Cantua. To start of with Huila, she is intelligent, wise, and powerful, speaks her own mind, and has direct connection with nature, spiritual world, and that of humans. She is a curandera and has the ability to heal whomever by using natural remedies and prayers, help women give birth, and cure men. Huila always had a crude sense of humor/speech and an attitude, people were surprised that this holy woman with a shawl and shotgun was a servant for Don Tomas; that very same woman who’s blessed hands brought babies to the world, drive wicked spirits away, made remedies with teas, could ever work for someone (Urrea 47).  Her power just like the other women in the novel seem to come from God which is more than acceptable in the highly religious/superstitious community. She is an inspiration for other women and a big help for men.

            Cateyana, the mother of Teresita and who’s name means the messenger of God or Hummingbird, in an unfortunate manner can be seen how she differs from the norm. Cateyana gets pregnant at a young age from a random man (who in fact is Don Tomas) and abandons Teresita when she was a baby only to leave her with her abusive Tia. This event is not typical for Mexican women to do as they are supposed to be carrying and lovable and raise their children, as well as not have sexual intercourses before marriage.

            Teresita, the daughter of the hummingbird and the most special and powerful woman in Mexico who even threaten the president and other governmental/authority figures but, cured many and brought back hope and belief. Teresita is the daughter of Don Tomas, student of Huila, and what The People call a saint and a revolutionary figure. She has many powers; she first starts with the power of healing through herbs/nature, prayer, and being a midwife. This wonderful girl refused to be like the typical daughter of a higher ranking person, Teresita “refused to wear a petti-coat. She did not like hats, however, and rejected out of hand the small pillbox-and-veil. She refused to stick out her pinkie when sipping. It was, after all, her body” (Urrea, 244, 245). After some time she was raped and died but as some days past she resurrected and was granted even more healing powers, this time with a simple touch. Teresita must be considered the most dangerous woman in Mexico due to her death and reanimation bringing her healing powers more abundant than before. People all over go to see her because she is so powerful and a saint and they want to be healed. She is considered to be a queen and people will listen to her. President Diaz feared revolution from the people due to her and even turbulence in his presidency for she has power over the people.

            Dona Loreto (Don Tomas’ first wife) and even Gabriela Cantua (Don Tomas’ second wife) show in certain instances a breaking of the traditional norm. Dona Loreto is very vengeful when found out that Don Tomas had cheated on her and had many children on the side. She had the right to do so however, she would break things, throw things, and insult everyone and everything when seeing Tomas (Urrea, 206). The visits paid to the house of Tomas were also very gruesome. Someone might expect her to act lady like and just sit back while her husband defamed her very soul. Gabriela Cantua was very lady like in the entire novel except when it came time to defend the house and Teresita from the military and people wanting to kill her she was loaded with an arm ready to shoot anyone who walked into the door (Urrea, 441).

            “All these women, Huila thought: Mothers of God. These skinny, these dirty and toothless, these pregnant, shoeless and these littlest ones who faced unknowable tomorrows. Mothers of God.” (Urrea, 92). The powers of women are something heavenly for such creature with fragile hands can cure; give life, fight, and even kill. Traditions will always remain but as the world and minds evolve the barriers and false judgments and expectations upon women as well as men decay slowly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Urrea, Luis.A. The Hummingbirds Daughter. New York: Little, Brown and   Company, 2006. Print. 

“I’m a novelist. My work is human nature. Real life is all I know. Don’t ever confuse the two, your life and your work. You will walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree: there will thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk or your life on a bus or in a car or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank accounts but also your soul.

People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. Its so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is cold comfort on a winter’s night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’re received your test results and they’re not so good.

Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my work stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the centre of the universe. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh. I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say. I am good friend to my friends and them to me. Without out them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cut out. But I call them on the phone and I meet them for lunch. I would be rotten,at best mediocre, at my job if those other things were not true.

You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are. So here’s what I wanted to tell you today: Get a life. A real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger pay cheque, the larger house. Do you think you’d care very much about those things if you blew an aneurysm one afternoon or found a lump in your breast?

Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze at the seaside, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over the water, or the way a baby scowls with concentration when she tries to pick up a sweet with her thumb and first finger.

Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Pick up the phone. Send an email. Write a letter. Get a life in which you are generous. And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around. Take money you would have spent on a beer and give it to charity. Work in a soup kitchen. Be big brother or sister. All of you want to do well. But if you do not do good too, then doing well will never be enough.

It is so easy to waste our lives, our days, our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the colour of our kids’ eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again. It is so easy to exist instead of to live.

I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that it is not a dress rehearsal, and that today is the only guarantee you get. I learned to look at all there is in the world and try to give some of it back because I believed in it, completely and utterly. And I tried to do that, in part, by telling others what I learned. By telling them this: Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby’s ear. Read in the back yard with the sun on your face.

Learn to be happy. And think on life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion as it ought to be lived.”

Letter three to Andrew

When everything is said and done all that is left is nothing but a memory to remind us of a life or person and an event. So hello memory, we meet again. It has been a while since I visited you, actually a week to be exact.

I just want to say how much I miss you and how much I truly wish you were here with me. I really miss not being able to hug you, to tuck you in bed, to take you to the park, talk to you till you fall asleep, and personally tell you that I love you and that you are one of the biggest gifts life has ever given me. Whenever I want to stop smiling and trying even if I have a billion reasons why I should die you give me a billion and one reasons to smile and forget the all. When I want to escape I always remember that day in summer when we spent almost all day at the park and watched the sunset. Everything about that day was so perfect. It was in fact the best day of my life.

I wish you could be here on your special day so I could celebrate your birthday with you, but, unfortunately things are far too complicated and though we are close you are still to far from me. I know I cannot be by your side on that beautiful day when you were brought into this Earth and my life but, from the bottom of my heart I wish you  a happy birthday and I hope that you find happiness this year, that your dreams come true, that you have many perfect days and warm nights, perfect summer, winter, fall days, that you learn many things, that you age gracefully, that you have many friends, and good companions, that you are truly happy with you and do what YOU love not what others expect.

Dear brother,

I wish you the best birthday ever, I wish you all the gold and beauty and success in the world and in life. I wish you all that is good and that you dream of. I want you to know that I always keep you in my heart, mind, and soul and that I carry your photo and bracelet everywhere I go. That all your paintings I have them here as decorations even your letters. That I pray for you every night that your life goes as beautiful as it can be and that you rise and shine above all. I wish you all the best that life can possibly offer because you are such a wonderful human being. Even though you are young you have saved my life literally and you have tought me so many things.

Though far I want you to know that you are amazing and that I love you and I am proud of you. No matter what happens I promise you that I will love you and be there for you no matter what happens or what you do. You are my little angel and I constantly pray that you have a great day and are doing well and that nothing ever goes missing in your life.

I do not know if you will ever read this but I know things are so difficult but I somehow hope that as I am writing this you are dreaming that I kiss you in your forehead and wish you  a happy birthday my little baby angel brother.

I love you  always and forever.

 

The cycle of the human transforming into a different being.

La Vie en Rose- Edith Piaf

Des Yeux Qui Font Baisser Les Miens
Un Rire Qui Se Perd Sur Sa Bouche
Voila Le Portrait Sans Retouche
De L’homme Auguel J’appartiens

Quand Il Me Prend Dans Ses Bras,
Il Me Parle Tout Bas
Je Vois La Vie En Rose,
Il Me Dit Des Mots D’amour
Das Mots De Tous Les Jours,
Et Ca Me Fait Quelques Choses
Il Est Entre Dans Mon Coeur,
Une Part De Bonheur
Dont Je Connais La Cause, C’est Lui Pour
Moi, Moi Pour Lui Dans La Vie
Il Me L’a Dit, L’a Jure Pour La Vie,
Et Des Que Je L’apercois
Alors Je Sens En Moi, Mon Coeur Qui Bat…

Des Nuits D’amour A Plus Finir
Un Grand Bonheur Qui Prend Sa Place
Les Ennuis, Des Chagrins S’effacent
Heureux, Heureux A En Mourir

http://awnfa.moonfruit.com/

 

Planet Earth has been rapidly changing in many ways such as technology, economy, education, health, agriculture, and the environment. Some of the introduced deviations have assisted our planet and some have instigated great misfortune. Men have produced the ultimate sickness for our only home which is called global warming. Though there are some speculations on the legitimacy of this event many organizations and drastic catastrophic weather patterns beg to differ. If humans and corporations around the world fail to repair this issue, in the near future this could mean a massive extinction of various life forms and the ecosystem.

Global climate change is the changing of Earth’s temperatures in a drastic harmful way. Scientists now state that Earth had never been hotter; its temperatures are reaching heights and lows not seen since 4,000 years ago (last ice age). The warming change is contributed to the greenhouse gases which consist of carbon dioxide and methane. Some of the factors that play a role as well are the solar variability and climate change. This annual change is causing deforestation, extinctions, and changes in ecosystem, burning of fossil fuels, and farming. Scientists believe that this change will cause tropical storms, certain diseases like malaria, heat strokes, and other death (Stanford Solar Center2008).

In the mid-1700s a large amount of greenhouses gases being burnet by humans from transportation and fuels increased to an incredible amount. Unfortunately, these gases which serve to keep Earth warm can stay for over 50 years in the atmosphere and cause holes in the ozone due to overheating. Over the past century Earth has been heating up by one degree. However, that one degree of change annually leads to warming of seas, causing floods, storms, and droughts. One must remember that in the last ice age the difference between global temperature and modern times were only nine degrees a part (Environmental Defense Fund).

Climate change does not only affect temperatures but the community, ecological system, migration, economy, health, farming, agriculture, and our everyday life. In 2006, heat waves across America including El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico claimed approximately 225 lives. In 2005, polar bears started drowning due to melting glaciers. Also, in 2070 all glaciers in Glaciers National Park will be melted (Natural Resources Defense Center 2010). If we take a look at El Paso, Texas one can find the simple factors and effects of global warming contributed by men. ASARCO, an American Smelting And Refining Company, is a clear example of local warming. By getting electricity from a coal-fired power plant and using oil or natural gas humans are already making global warming worse. The plant has contributed to the immense pollution the city already had by causing asthma, low quality of air, and death. These sicknesses cause people not to be able to work causing a personal economic deficiency. These gases not only contribute to the greenhouses gases but help destroy ecosystems (Coalition for Clean Air 2010).

“The physical processes that cause climate change are scientifically well documented: both human activities and natural variability are contributing to global and regional warming. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose documents are considered the most authoritative source for information on the “state of the science” on climate change, it is very likely that most of the observed warming over the past 50 years is the result of increased greenhouse gases generated by human activities” Stated The National Academies. To try and amend the damage done by humans some organizations such as GreenPeace have taken a stand. GreenPeace is an independent global campaign/group that defends Planet Earth and raises awareness about global warming, nuclear safety, and environmental justice. Since the 70’s this organization has done boycotts by land and seas (Rainbow Warrior Ship) in order to defend our only home (GreenPeace International).

Environmental change starts locally in our city and there are many simple, easy, and non-expensive ways to preserve Earth. The term “Going Green” refers to the many options there are to help our only home. Some easy ways to going green are things as simple as turning off the lights, unplugging appliances when not in use, turn off the water faucet when cleaning dishes, taking short showers, and most important recycling. One can also buy florescent light bulbs which tend to last longer and save more energy and budget (Washington University in St. Louise 2005). Many companies and cities all over the United States have gone completely green such as Las Vegas with their electric highways and companies such as Ikea (Going Green 2011). El Paso, Texas has also implemented the option of recycling every once a week at least and has given a blue container to every house to practice this new strategy.

Planet Earth is our only home whether we accept it or not we must take care of it. The answer is in our hands and curing Earth from this sickness created by men is not as hard as it seems. If we do not take a stand now tomorrow will be too late and rest assure our decadence as humans will be a long painful journey. The change starts with you.

References

Bellarby, J. ; Foereid, B; Hastings, A; & Smith, P. ( 2008). Cool farming: climate

Impacts of agriculture and mitigation potential. [Electronic Version].

GreenPeace International , 13-25.

Clendennen, A. (2005). Preserving the environment: energy and cost savings alternatives

To recycling abound. Retrieved from http://news.wustl.edu/news/Pages/5375.aspx

Coalition for Clean Air. (2010). Air Pollution. Retrieved from

http://www.coalitionforcleanair.org/air-pollution-global-warming-faqs.html

Evans, A. (2011). GreenPeace’s rainbow warrior farewell in Hong Kong. BBC News.

Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12402818 .

Environmental Defense Fund. (2010). The basics of global warming. Science of global

Warming. Retrieved from       http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=35215&source=ggadgw35215&gclid=CIakk JKSrqcCFU5a7Aodkwm9Cg

Going Green!. (2010). Going Green. Retrieved from http://www.goinggreen.com/

GreenPeace. (2010). GreenPeace International. Retrieved from             http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/about/

Hunter, B. (2004). The GreenPeace to Amchitka: an environmental odyssey. Canada:

Arsenal Pulp Press.

Johnson, A. & Mogahari, F. (2011). Ecological impacts of climate change. [Electronic

Version]. The National Academies.

Natural Defense Council. (2008). The consequences of global warming. Retrieved from

http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/fcons.asp

Stanford Solar Center. (2008). Global climate change. Retrieved from

http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/glob-warm.html

15 Days

Dedicated to: Mandy,Pa, Ilario, Bibi, Choni, and Andrew.

Warning:

The following words do not support in any way any religious group but rather serve as a literary device and a “what if”. If thou shall be offended please ignore this theory of the creation of earth and life.

Alessandra Paul

It is written that God created the world in seven days but, we as humans when do we start creating our own world? How long does it take to create our own existence?
It took God seven days but it took me 19 years to create my own world and 15 days to fall into this realization.
15 days were how long it took me to accept that I am alive at last, to know that I cannot live without the people in my life, to know that I will forever love you, to grow to love a family when we are oceans apart.
I created my world in 19 years and accepted my own life, defeats, wins, to know the truth, to not hide the feelings of the heart out of fear of vulnerability, to decide that the upcoming choices in life will be for the better and not fear, and to accept and love everyone including myself.
But as humans when do we start creating our own world aside from the one we live in? How long does it take for our own realization?

More photos go to:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/alessandra-paul/