Archive for the ‘GIFTS OF RESISTANCE 2017: creative writing’ Category

  • Friend or Unfriend

    Date: 2017.01.31 | Category: GIFTS OF RESISTANCE 2017: creative writing | Response: 0

     

    I recoil every time a conservative FB friend posts something I vehemently disagree with.  I know I am not the only non conservative who has a handful of conservative friends, but I’m wondering, in this toxic national environment do we/do you “unfriend” them (whether they are on FB or not)?

    I listen to a meditation tape that asserts there is no good or bad energy—only too much energy.  I’m not sure if I believe energy is neutral; but, I do know that people whose values I don’t agree with zap my emotional energy.

    Yet, if we ostracize everyone we don’t agree with, doesn’t that leave no room for communication?  My conservative friends are, for the most part, kind, generous, and fun.  But, politically I feel I am being hypocritical if I don’t speak up, but mostly I don’t.

    I refuse to dialogue on FB with my conservative friends when they post their conservative views because too often I notice people who do so are bombarded with malicious, unintelligible replies.  I notice they also don’t respond to my liberal posts (which until recently were very limited).

    In person, I do ask questions or comment, but usually it becomes light banter between us, neither person willing to push their views.

    I admit I have family members and a few former friends who I have had confrontations with, and now we no longer speak to each other.  I admit, also, these confrontations have felt shaming, and because I am now, after years of therapy and bad relationships (not just intimate ones) aware of shaming and run from anyone I feel is shaming me, as fast as I can.

    Someone once told me there are people who we need out of our lives for our own health and sanity [I add, no matter how much we might love them], and the only thing we can do is pray for them/pray for each other.

    Truly, I do not know what my conservative friends think of my liberal/progressive, feminist views or if they read my political FB posts, but they, like me, don’t respond to anything political-just cute cat and dog videos (which is good, we all need comic relief sometimes).

    I am a mixed-race, feminist, baby boomer, recovering Christian, liberal/progressive (pro choice, pro immigration etc.) citizen who believes in unconditional love, but I am furious that my few (conservative/white) friends (especially the women) voted for Trump, or didn’t vote at all, and they can’t understand their action/inaction was a vote against their daughters, granddaughters, LGBT friends, non Christian friends, economically poor friends-was a vote against me (and, in my opinion, was a vote against themselves) .

    Now is not the time to agree to disagree!  As the saying goes, if we are not part of the solution we are part of the problem.  However, the problem is who defines the problem and who defines the solution.

    Trump is not my president.

     

    ©Sherry Quan Lee

    January 31, 2017

  • INVISIBLE

    Date: 2017.01.30 | Category: GIFTS OF RESISTANCE 2017: creative writing | Response: 0

     

     

    I am fair skinned, with blue eyes and curly hair. I live in a city of 50,000 in a predominately rural area of Southern Minnesota.  Few Jews live here, maybe 10 or 15.  Even so, there are lots of opinions about us.  Here are two snapshots.

     

    1.  At a community meeting, thirty-five people sat around on coaches and chairs in the lounge of a one-story office building.  A respected businessman mentioned the seed company, a few blocks away that had recently burned down.  He ends his sentence with “Jewish torch.” I snapped to attention.  At the end of the meeting I asked what he meant by “Jewish torch.”

     

    “Well, you know, it’s when Jews burn down a company to get the insurance money.”   “I am surprised to hear you speak like this.” For a flickering second, there was understanding in his eyes.  Then quickly regaining composure he said: “Everyone around here says this.”  “That doesn’t make it right. I hope the next time you hear someone say this, you tell them it is not okay.”  

     

    1.  When Somali families began moving to Mankato, a couple hundred professionals attended a presentation entitled: “Get to know your Muslim neighbors.”  I learned new things from the articulate Muslim speaker.  I was stunned when in response to a question about peace, he immediately replied: “If there weren’t Jews in the world, there would be peace.”  After this comment, there was not even an uncomfortable silence.  I felt invisible.

     

    At the end of the presentation, I approached the speaker, repeated his comment and calmly asked him to tell me more about this.  He looked at me: “Oh, you must be Jewish,” and started to make small talk, about Minnesota weather.  If he could have been more honest or reflective about his feelings, we might both have learned something.  

     

    While we are all different in how we look, think, and respond to things; we are not a binary “us” and “them.”  There is just “us.”  

    Copyright Marilyn (Mira) Frank

Artist Statement

Sherry Quan Lee approaches writing as a community resource and as culturally based art of an ordinary everyday practical aesthetic. Lee is a Community Instructor at Metropolitan State University (Intro to Creative Writing, Advanced Creative Writing), and has taught at Intermedia Arts, and the Loft Literary Center. She is the author of A Little Mixed Up, Guild Press, 1982 (second printing), Chinese Blackbird, a memoir in verse, published 2002 by the Asian American Renaissance, republished 2008 by Loving Healing Press, and How to Write a Suicide Note: serial essays that saved a woman’s life, Loving Healing Press, 2008.

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SHERRY QUAN LEE

HOW DARE WE! WRITE

LOVE IMAGINED

CHINESE BLACKBIRD

HOW TO WRITE A SUICIDE NOTE

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