Written by NAV vol. 3 Participant: John Smith
The weather has been unpredictable lately. Last Saturday I was caught by surprise, not suspecting rainclouds to dramatically roll in over the morning sun. Yet just as the heavens send us rain so that seeds may find strength to blossom, so too are we given tears to wash away pain and heal. I did not know this is what a few peers, including myself, would show and share that Saturday.
We are children cast out to sea, born into a space between cultures there / then (the Phils) and here / now (the Six). Here on Saturday we shared our stories of belonging or not. Here, we understood both. For our experiences are tied to a shared hxstory – “shattered pieces of the same mirror.” While we have varying command over what that hxstory is, we know that to know our roots is to be grounded and nourished by them. For the seed with strong roots sprouts the plant that reaches for the sky. Rowell sends the message through his art that “history has done so much for us, why not use it?"
Though our routes towards self knowledge are different, the desire to know our roots brought us here. Kapisanan is a different Philippine island. Some of us washed up on its shore, others arrive with all the intention of a seafaring conquistador. Whatever the circumstance, this island is becoming the refuge those in the CLUTCH and NAV tribes seek. Love, as bell hooks defines it, is “the will to nurture our own and another's spiritual growth.” I think we found that in this community. After my own shaky presentation - where I touched upon mental health and homelessness in my life - Nina said sweetly that “we’ve got a home in each other now.”
As the days roll on into summer I have faith knowing our Filipinoness will inform our art practices and see them blossom.