Sunday, March 8, 2015

Howling Into Evening

My grandmothers were coming to me in signs.
Images of brown sunned skin
and rose colored grins
Strong black tassels of braids
The whites of the eyes obsolete
Speaking through minds
Barefoot feet
They whirled in
My TRIBE circled around me

Twelve women pounding sound into the dirt ground
Grandmas, Nanis, Nanas and Abuelas
It’s warm inside of the earthen den
They all hug me knowingly
They all-being — supporting 
And I feel it's not just me
We are a unity

When I heal myself,
I heal each and everyone
All my ancestors,
all my relations
The trauma becomes a chapter of the past
And it is my right to move forward with light

It is my right
to claim what is mine
It is my right
to live in harmony
It is my right
to change and control our destiny
It is my right
to turn gifts into elements: water, gems, smoke, wood...
It is my right to practice alchemy

My eyes burn
so they see for me
My mouth dry
and they give me a ladle of water,
an herb to chew, a smooth pebble
My face hot
and they give me a cool wet towel
My voice numb
and they sing for me
Howling into evening

— Veronica Giraldo

We could not think of a better voice to shine the spotlight on International Women's Day than Veronica Giraldo's and her grandmothers who come to her in signs.

A student of the arts, Veronica Giraldo has also taught art in New Orleans schools. We are grateful that when she puts down her brush, she picks up a pen and creates poetry that is both raw and emotional but more importantly comes from within the soul of a true artist.

The artwork accompanying Veronica's Howling Into Evening is a fragment of Song to the Virgin by Santa Barraza. Song to the Virgin is part of the Arte y Traducion de La Frontera: The U.S.-Mexico Borderlands in the Works of Santa Barraza and Carmern Lomas Garza exhibit by the Texas A&M University - San Antonio Educational and Cultural Center on display through May 24, 1915.

San Antonio is also the birthplace and home of Veronica's abuela...also named Santa.

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