Baitn’switch

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So I am tired out from today’s fun in Kyoto (I went with my softball circle).  The V-day article will be late,  but here are the pictures I promised!  Also- BONUS PICS!  from today.   And below is something I wrote for another blog a long time ago as part of a performance dealing with race.  And a poem I wrote a while ago that no one’s ever seen.  So, cheers!  And happy Valentine’s day!

Love,
Mieko

P.S. Like the new layout?

*Author’s Note: This was originally published on the blog www.gatheratthetable.wordpress.com .  It was the online component of the collaborative Oberlin performance Gather at the Table.

“Strong Enough?”

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2009 at 1:10 am

I’ve got 95′ Sheryl Crow in my head: “Are you strong enough to be my man?”

It’s been there since discussion today.  We were talking about interracial dating, and it popped into my head as I suddenly realized how much strength something like that takes. Being the product of several generations of interracial love, I’d never thought much about it. That’s always been my reality. But, after listening to other peoples’ stories and feelings about mixed-relationships, and comparing them with my own family history, I think I understand.

When you go into an interracial relationship you must be prepared for it. You have to be prepared to face the stares and slurs and comments from people who don’t understand. You have to be prepared to put yourself in that situation, to say to your friends, neighbors, parents: I am sorry you feel that way, but I’m not changing. I’ll leave it up to you to come around. If you are planning to marry outside your race, you have to be prepared to teach your children this strength, teach them to respect themselves and their ancestors on both sides, teach them to renounce other peoples’ labels and to proudly check the box labeled other.

Some people can’t handle it– can’t see why they would put themselves in a position to be ridiculed (on a side note, I think the mixed-race and LGBTQ community have a lot to learn from each other). But, as a person who’s had to endure the stares and the taunts and the slurs and the questions and the rejection– I would not trade my heritage for the world. So do not fear for your children, do not fear for yourselves. Understand the risks, but take them in stride. Laugh at your troubles, work to change them, but do not fear them.  Just live.  The strength to be in a mixed relationship is only an extension of the strength it takes to be yourself.

And as far as others are concerned- if they love you, they’ll come around. It’s like my dad once told me: those who matter seldom mind, and those who mind seldom matter. Wise man, my father.

And rest assured, it gets easier as it goes along. Race is a social construct anyway, so the more we blur the boundaries, the easier it becomes to blur them some more. I’ve definitely had it easier than my parents did, and their parents were barely allowed to marry! Talk about strength! And no matter who I date, it’s obviously going to be a mixed relationship, so I don’t care one bit. Also, anyone remember the bitter race wars between the Anglos and the Saxons? No? I rest my case.

With Strength and Love,

Mieko

P.S. For more on the subject of interracial dating, watch: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, as well as Something New. Great movies that also give you the date night snuggles!

P.P.S. Mixed babies rock!

4

Poems about you

I tell myself to be patient-

In autumn, you will return.

You will part the space between our lips

when the moon becomes ripe and low.

Each day drops slowly, slowly-

The night drops slower still.

And the moon is small and bitter and cold

so I eat, and I sleep, and I wait.

Oh, the memory of you

winds around my head,

presses against my collarbones,

churns beneath my stomach

Each day drops slowly, slower still

-I tell myself to be patient.

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