Qui a tué ma mère?
Sino ang nag patay sa inay ko?
Who killed my mother?
I was compelled to ask these questions to preface other musings brought to poetic life on paper, through pen, by the somatic and cerebral calisthenics catalyzed in me by this workshop. These three inquiries are all congruent in intended meaning, yet dissimilar in genetics inasmuch as this French, Tagalog, and English inquiry illuminates the incongruent grammars and the syntaxes of tongues touched by diverse colonial encounters, and influenced by disparate migratory trajectories. I grew up learning in, listening to, speaking in English, French, and Tagalog and this exercise of creative writing has prompted me to reflect upon the history that informs my hodgepodge of linguistic consciousness.
This workshop is titularly an exercise of "Opening to our Myths - a Movement Creativity Lab for Women" hosted by Andrea Mapili, an exploration of individual and group stories of identity through movement, drawing, poetry and collective creation. This opportunity to engage in collective creation exercises with fellow Filipinas who are similarly intent on resurrecting a consciousness of our histories of movement
tickles and provokes my psyche to no end. It is one of the most exhilarating (amongst the series of exhilarations generated by the Clutch program!) experience of artistry that I’ve hitherto experienced.
The exercise of poetry that prompted the aforementioned questions nears the end of the workshop, following what started as a series of bodily movements that asked us to tap into ruminations of our Clutch journey. That in turn prompted Patricia to run, Marie to kneel, Loisel to troop forward with assertion, and me to draw spirals on the floor as I moved across Kapisanan's gallery. This movement was followed by a dance of our arms that galvanized our oil pastels to give birth to our preceding movements onto paper.
In posing these questions, I am responding to the pressures of my fingers, which were responding to the motions of my wrists, which were influenced by the motions of pastels onto paper--motions that were choreographed by inspirations drawn from the preceding bodily movements.
This feedback loop of creative calisthenics--arms dancing to move pastels to motion, the writing thus inspired, and the collective story-creating and story-telling that followed--seemed to reflect the feedback loop of movement between cultures that I experience daily as a Filipina-Canadian.
Writing my piece, I almost began to believe in determinism. It wrote itself. The pen knew what to write, flowing out like blood from freshly wounded flesh (of historylessness).
I come back to the questions, the fundamental questions that I posit through my Clutch journey: What conditions, historical and otherwise, have propelled the womblessness I’ve often felt as a Filipina woman of colour growing up in Canada?
I move. I move. I move. I draw. I write. I move.
And as such, I move toward reconciling with the question of sino nag patay sa inay ko.