Into Action

I need to confess something. After a year of making a lot political art, I was feeling tired. When I stitched that portrait of Erica Garner, I wanted to get it right. To honor her memory. To never forget. I cried a lot. I was starting to wonder if maybe I could stop for awhile, just make cute or pretty things. Things that didn't make me weep for the world. I'd scroll through Instagram and miss making silly things.

But then we went to LA and got to see the Into Action show. I've never felt so sure about the path I'd chosen, never felt so inspired. Moments after having the wind knocked out of me by a painting called "The Most Deadly Week in America," I turned to this pieced by Yolanda Guerra, eyes already filled with tears and felt my heart overflow with love.

This is why we march. * I grew up the youngest of nine children. Six girls and three boys. As the youngest, I lived in a bubble, insulated from expectations of what it meant to be a young Latina, until I became a teenager. The piercing of the bubble began when I was 13 in the early 1980's, on a weekend morning when my brother, who was in his twenties, with high expectations told me to iron his shirt. * "What?" I said dumbfoundedly. * "Iron my shirt. I have to leave soon," he said. * "Iron your own shirt," I said determinedly. * My brother was surprised by my response. * He was emphatic: "You are supposed to iron my shirt." * "Supposed to?? Says who?? I am not going to iron your shirt," I said. * "Iron my shirt," he continued. * Hearing us arguing, my mother stepped in and sided with my brother saying that I need to iron his shirt. * "¡Hazlo," she said. * "No, I am not going to. He is old enough to do it himself," I replied. I added, "Why is he still living here?" That question seemed to rip the buttons off his wrinkled shirt. The arguing continued now with both my mother and brother. Even in my doggedness, I felt a sense of desperation, of something being imposed upon me, a constraint that I could not be free from. * My father had been quietly listening as he sat in the kitchen finishing up his breakfast. He walked into the area where the ironing board stood and where the arguing was steaming. He said to my brother, calmly, as if something out wrinkles with his voice. * "Times have changed. Mija doesn't need to iron your shirt." This unexpected gift given from my father was a profound love and respect that pressed me into me. Strength, will, and power of protest. I was free to be. * @yolandaguerra23 Love, Strength, Will, and Power of Protest (Little Iron Vagina) * INTO ACTION closes this Sunday, January 21. For details visit our website (link in our bio). #intoaction * Photo: @baha_danesh

Also, they had a room where you could literally smash the patriarchy. Or at least a dish with the word "White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy" and it felt amazing.

Then, as if I needed any other signs to keep at it, while passing through Oakland, we saw this:

So, if you need me, I'll be smashing the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy - with art.