The book is here!
I am pleased to announce that my second published essay is one of several included in the Speaking desde las Heridas Transborder Testimonials, a follow-up to one of my first essays published, which came out in 2006 in the first Cibrtestimonio book. The first book came out of the devastating and transforming days following 9-11, when I still lived in Mexico City. The memory is etched in my mind. My boyfriend and I had been awoken by the phone, my dear friend Alma Lilia had called to ask if I had seen the images, did I know what had happened? We both sat in groggy silence unable to move, tears streamed down my face, and I called my grandma.
Last night, I cried into a sob when I heard that 1,000,000 Iraqis are now dead from the war.
I don’t consider myself necessarily a “peace activist” – I must admit, its a whole new way of considering my feelings about war. Instead of sides in a battle, I find myself asking over and over, what is the point? What is the point to wars? What has been achieved, ever, through war? When people answer, my mind jumps to ask, “was there no other way to have achieved those same aims?” What are we thinking?
I can’t help but ask myself, between then and now, what has been achieved? This is someone asking who is staring down the face of the devastating economic, social, moral and cultural implications for what came out of 9/11. We can’t take credit for 9/11, that is, We the People. But, there is no getting around our responsibility for what followed in the aftermath, what goes on today. What are we achieving?
My family members all served in the wars. Perhaps that is why “peace activist” seems like such a foreign word in a way. Yet, I find my mind turning to the question of peace. I find myself asking – if we have people shot in church for lawful actions, good kids hanging themselves for being called gay, and the destruction in our wake where feet march, I ask, what is it that war achieves that peace cannot? I don’t mean “peace” with all its loaded adjectives, I don’t mean the peace that will make someone call me a “commy” – I mean that PEACE that will make the world start spinning in its right axis again, PEACE that will make us say hey, why again exactly?
This book is edited by Claire Joysmith who is professor at CISAN, and a wonderfully gifted editor, among many talents.
I want to thank Claire for the first opportunities to publish my work, and for inspiring me to believe. You are a soul sista from el temescali, a friend del corazon.
Many thanks to the co-publishers Whitter College in the U.S., and UNAM, CISAN, Instituto de Monterrey in Mexico, who carried forward these words to share with people on both sides of the border.