i don't often like or use the word "submit" or "submission" unless it means i'm handing in an application to some dream job or something. "submission" brings up all these negative stereotypes i have of being told that "women submit to men" and "wives submit to their husbands" and all that patriarchal, often-turned-abusive and manipulative nonsense.
so i'm trying to redeem this word of "submission" in this context for a moment because it seems to be the best word to describe what happened to me yesterday.
as we all know, super tuesday happened just a couple of days ago. we saw who swept these first preliminary states. i'm trying to step away for a moment from being so wrapped up politically, because it's weighing on me nearly every day. but the truth of the matter is, i can't. not really. and i shouldn't. not really. i work in an environment where when trump scooped up all those states as easily as his hair blows off in the wind, the wealthy white men i was shaking martinis for breathed sighs of relief and clinked glasses, some even cheered. not all of them felt this way, thank god. and none are wholly trump "supporters" but "would rather have him, a businessman, than that murderer Killary". this is normalized celebration and talk, and to be expected in the wealthy area where my restaurant is. i overheard one of my customers say, trump's a great businessman, though he is borderline racist. i turned to him whip-quick and corrected him, "I'm not going to comment on anything you've said before, but i must correct you, because this is important. he is racist. 100%." i was relieved that the man with him agreed. there is a little hope. but little is the emphasis that i've been feeling this election cycle at my bar (and around most of my family).
i know that the world will not be changed in one election cycle. i'm not naive. we have a black president and things are still shit. i just want to be moving forward, and not backward. i want every human treated with dignity and not as less-thans, criminals, terrorists, thugs, a menace to society, a problem to be dealt with.
so last night, as i somberly went home, i knew so desperately that i needed to cry. in my bar are the people with wealth and power. they're are not the only people with wealth and power and they are not all bad. they're all human. they're all looking out for their own best interests. it just saddens me, so very deeply, to know that their own best interests don't include seeing others outside of their networks and circle. that they don't equate the flourishing of others and other communities as their flourishing. that their voice is most important, and loudest. and they've "worked hard" so they deserve all they have, and those who haven't "risen above" like they have are just "lazy".
so i was facetiming dusty (my boyfriend) and he was telling me about his encounter with a woman at home depot he had who claimed she'd been abused and robbed and needed money to get home and we talked about our empathy and simultaneous skepticism because we're jaded and selfish and don't want to be uncomfortable. and then i was able to cry. because i'm sad and tired and angry at all of us. and i submitted to my tears. and i submitted to the grief of years and years of genocide and enslavement and the perpetuation of modern enslavement and mistreatment and discrimination. and then i kept crying when i realized that i have the privellege of forgetting these things. i don't have to face the burden of feeling, even in subtle ways, an "otherness" everyday.
and there are no answers to that. there are no comforting words. and i don't want comforting words. and i don't need comforting words. it's not about me. it's not about me. it's not about me.
it's about submission.
submission to my position in life, in the privelege and power and grief and frustration. and that's it. there isn't meant to be comfort. it's not "all ok". it's been bad. terrible. and we as americans are the WORST at admitting mistakes. and we want to "keep moving forward", but we can't until we've recognized, altogether and officially. and grieved. altogether and officially.
i know i am saying nothing new.
i know there are those of you who have carried this on for your whole life.
but what i'm saying is that last night i submitted to my feelings, my emotions i often stuff deep down for hope of a better tomorrow and a better future. and i submitted to feeling anguish.
and that was what i count as my "making" for the day. i drew some things (bad alien twin babies for a card for my friend who's a new mom), but for me today wasn't about "making art". because life isn't about "making art" - it's about learning to be more and more human, and hopefully the process of making things helps us come closer to experiencing that. but sometimes it's just submitting to all the crap and grief of being human that's accumulated in your emotional pipeline and let it roar.
that said, here are some makings you all have so courageously submitted to, in your own little ways, these past two days:
Erin Terry Padilla did some sketches and quick line drawings:
Niko Glavez has been working on her final exam for her graduate program and outlined/brainstormed her process:
Katie Joy Nellis did a quick copy of a polaroid on a gesso rag and a flower chain study for a project:
send me your makings (or stories of "submission") to me and i'll add them!