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Friday, April 29, 2011

Journey to Womb Writing

From the ripe age of 11 years old, I have been compiling my writings in little diaries, notebooks and folders.  Writing has pulled me through my parents' nasty divorce in my early teen years, my mother's coming out as a lesbian (which occurred days later), and my polymorphous High School years.  I have the power to connect and heal myself, challenge my fears, question my intentions, then look back and see how far I have (or haven't) come.  Naturally, womb writing birthed itself into my healing process during my first pregnancy in 2007.

It was not until last year, thanks to a healing circle with my collective, Ticicalli Yahualli, that I realized the importance of it for every wombyn.  We began with a series of prompts:

Is communicating with your womb important?
Are you friends with your womb? Why/why not?

As the prompts forced us to dig deeper:

Ask your womb to tell us her "herstory",

I felt a deeper connection with my femininity and the struggles I've endured because of it.  As we read our wounds and triumphs aloud, I could hear my own voice in theirs, and our bond of sisterhood flourished.

I share this so we may heal the 500 year-old wounds of neglect, abuse, rape, abortion, and any other traumas against our wombs that inhibit our full potential as indigenous women.  We mothers are the base of a strong family, community, and nation.  Staying healthy and healing ourselves must become common knowledge put into daily practice.

For more information on Womb Writing, email ticicalli20@gmail.com, or read Sacred Woman, by Queen Afua.  You can purchase a womb journal with writing prompts at http://www.facebook.com/ticicalli. Try including your moon cycles, dreams, art, sexual or celibacy experiences, plans of healing, and affirmations.   May you, the healer, be creative and productive in you womb writing!

Excerpt from Panquetzani's Womb Journal
Today's entry--

I knew you were a little ball to the right.  I felt you tighten up in the ambulance. I wasn't scared. Just...tired.  We both gave up.  After pushing that 8lb 12oz precious stone of jade.  Why the right? Were you dehydrated?  Why did we both give up and wanna SLEEP sooooo bad?  There's something you're not telling me.  A shameful secret, maybe in our DNA, or genetic memory, or maybe it's all those years we were apart- disconnected from what really is.  I hold you, you hold my babies, give me all I need...I should've drank that liquid iron.  Liquid iron. LIQUID IRON, that sounds like regret, over and over. We can't change a few pints of lost blood, an ambulance ride, a two hour hospital stay that's going to cost $5,000- plus $500- for a bunch of newborn procedures we REFUSED. 40 bucks worth of LIQUID IRON seemed like so much more before these expenses. Okay, you're worth it...I'm worth it.  Lying naked on my bed without nosy 6 foot white boys in overalls staring at my pieces and asking a billion questions would have been worth it.  You were so exhausted, I felt you give up, and so did I.

My current womb journal

Womb journal while pregnant

Guest entry: my brother's experience of witnessing my birth

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mujer: A poem from my pregnancy journal

My pregnancy journal holds my most intimate emotions, dreams, thoughts and plans.  It is a capirotada of expression, containing: to-do lists; journal entries; birth art; notes; quotes; poetry; and more.  Beginning from the time I realized I was pregnant, it documents my struggle for a holistic pregnancy, labor, and postpartum experience.  Although it falls under the category of "Unassisted Pregnancy and Childbirth", nothing went unassisted.  Whether directly giving me expert advice, or just by dandome porras, I had the assistance, support and inspiration of many strong mothers.  This poem is for you: the women who helped reshape my whole self, inspiring me to go through my hardest life's work with a smile in amazement.  I wrote this for all of the mujeres I know.

You are the the masked woman
Dark, armed 
Cotton skirt and blouse
Captive and warrior coupled
Shrouded in your rebozo
bare-breasted, suckling baby

You are the voice-
guitar on your lap
fingers nobly strumming
patiently waiting
Weaving a web of Libertad

whose food sustains un mundo para todos

Barefoot dancer 
Moving like wind, water, 
Sending divine prayers into 
the only truth in existance

You are Healer and Priestess
I am you.
Every Victim and perpetrator
Every Mother nurturing life.
Now is the time to hold eachother

in our hearts and sing
One Song
Fight one battle
Plant together seeds of roots revolution.

Our new time has begun
together as one.

This is our call for liberty and struggle
for a better world
one familia at a time
¡viva la mujer!

Mujeres Zapatistas
Check out the daughters right beside and behind their mamas!
One heart, one mind, one voice

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Setting Intentions

After my unassisted pregnancy and birth, I realized that the internet community can compensate some advice and support lacking in my own community.  A great deal of my first pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and elimination communication experiences were supported through reading books, articles, and blogs for advice.  Although I am grateful to have access to such information, none were culturally relevant. I felt bonded with these natural mamas, but the added element of colonization left a divide between us that was never addressed.  Motherhood can be lonely.  As a doula, I intimately council other women of color. But what if I could reach the women who had no one to relate to as a sister?  Struggling to raise your family against colonialist ideals is a uniting experience for all women. I hope that sharing my experiences provides refuge, advice, encouragement and a healing space for Indigenous mothers like me.  

My seeds, my precious boys and I.