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BWAAAAAH internet rant; intimate details of my life out on the web for people I don't know.
2011-03-18 03:43:50 by Trungles
I did this piece in pen and ink while sitting at the coffee shop just off my campus. I was doing a little thinking.
My life's been all kinds of weird, lately.
Over the winter, my parents flew my Aunt Yuki over here to the States to get her away from her husband. She'd suffered from an incredible amount of domestic violence for about three decades before she finally decided to leave him this year. She spent Christmas and New Year with us, and before she returned to Japan, I got to spend a lot of time getting to know the brave woman who snuck money out of her personal finances against the will of a fearfully violent husband to keep me, her infant nephew, fed while her little sister and brother-in-law tried, year after year, to get away from the refugee camp to which they'd been displaced in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.
That was two decades ago.
With the money she sent back, my parents could buy me formula and soft fruits, and I was a relatively healthy baby, thanks in great part to her sacrifices. She met me for the first time when I was about two, and I still have the little white teddy bear she brought for me. While she staid with us this winter, she was always apologizing for taking up my space. I'm not sure she even expected that I was well aware that I owed her everything. I've never met anybody so oblivious to her own heroism.
Aunt Yuki's visa expired in February, and she moved back to Japan a couple months ago. She's now away from her husband, and in the care of some kind friends.
And then the earthquakes happened.
As soon as I saw the news, I phoned my mom, who told me she and Aunt Yuki had been corresponding regularly. Aunt Yuki was sure to be clutching something solid and stable every time she called over because, as my mom explained, the quakes were still happening. Auntie would apologize in advance just in case she needed to evacuate the building. She says she and my cousins are all safe, but something they're very aware that they'll likely be affected by the nuclear explosions caused by the earthquakes.
She and her friends expressed a desire to send my cousins over here to avoid developing chronic diseases from the nuclear fallout. Aunt Yuki believes, though, that she's too old to really be worth fussing over. Her friends have resigned themselves to dying of disease.
I couldn't stop inking the folds of the fabric around the angel in this image. They kept going and going and going. It felt as though I was drawing every furrow in my brow and every wrinkle to etch itself into my face until the day I died. I'm still worried about everything.
In the coming years, my little cousins will come to live here and become U.S. citizens the way my parents and I did before them. I'll have to coach their English and develop their study habits so they can catch up and keep up with their future American peers. Among their peers may be the Alexandra Wallaces of the world, making them feel unwelcome and misunderstood every step of the way.
In the meantime, I may be taking on far too much in school by way of extracurricular activities. I'll be heading out to San Francisco all throughout my spring break on a service learning trip, exposing myself to LGBT history and volunteering at various establishments. My emotional stability has recently become a little questionable, and I'll be heading into to counseling because I may very well have clinical depression. Oops. Before that, I've got an internship to line up, a few little tasks to complete at my job, an apartment to find, and a semester to finish up.
So I suddenly find myself with a lot weighing on my mind an unexpectedly heavy heart, to boot. I just feel heavy. All the time.
And what I really need is a little bit of hope. Something to lift me up a little higher, make me feel a little lighter in spirit.
And so I draw.