PLEASE NOTE - THIS POST HAS RACIAL THEMES THAT MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME.
READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
My bloggy godmother Aine has just been all up in my brain today. She's just posted a Witch's Circle discussion post, and it just so happens to be about something that's been on my mind off and on recently.
Here's the short background on me. ( Short as in shorter than the usual version, but probably not that short at all.)
I was born and raised right here in New York City. I've traveled up and down the eastern coast of the states, but New York has always been home. I love to travel, but this is where I hang my hat. As for heritage, I'm so mixed it's not funny. Typical, as they don't call my city a melting pot for nothing.
I am half Inca Peruvian, on my mother's side and a weird mix of Puerto Rican French on my father's side. These pieces of me are very specifically divided up with neon lines. I'm the sort of person who compartmentalizes everything, and the make-up of my blood is no different.
When I say I'm half Inca Peruvian, I mean it. My mother is a native, child to some natives, who all come from a remote little no where in the jungle. She is an Inca as I know them. They call themselves Indian now, but we all know that's just a word the Europeans brought with them. It's not even the right word, Christopher Columbus was just a confused son of a bitch. My mother's mother spoke Quechua, one of the two native tongues of Peru. My mother did too, until tragedy best saved for another day because this is supposed to be the short version.
My mother sung me Peruvian lullabies when I was a child. Half-Spanish, half-Quechua. She told me fairy tales about the children of the sun and taught me endless dances set to pan-pipes and sorrowful sounding flutes. Such large parts of my childhood never melded with anyone else's because she was so different. She came from such a different place. Peru is still, and always will be, a magical wonder to me.
I've talked about her before. My five-foot nothing pocket mother. She's a tiny thing, with no boundaries and all the grace of a bull in a china shop. She's primal and wise and ... too many things to put into words. At once she'll give you the feeling that where she truly belongs is back in her lands, surrounded by rainforests, calling out the sun, reading futures in wine and making life's every need with her own two hands.
In the next she's the woman who had it writ in stone that I marry a white man with blonde hair and blue eyes, preferably of German descent, with a military career. At least once a week we debate the merits or lack thereof, of coming to this country to start a new life, leaving all she knew behind. If it were up to me, I'd be there right now, tending sheep.
I grew up with that duality, and an extra side helping of my non-Spanish speaking Father who wanted me to go to Harvard and become a lawyer. The Great White Hope. Sadly, my parents were suckers. They were so ready to turn their backs on where they came from in order to produce a child belonging to this country.
They were screwed. Not initially though, and even now not completely. As a child, I took for fact all they said. I learned perfect English, and have not a trace of an accent. I got good grades and prepared for my own military career. The American Way was the Right way. I had a longing for all things White.
As a teenager, I wanted to be a goth kid. That was how I identified. Now here in NYC there are all kinds of goth kids. Spanish, Black, Indian. We all club together in the city with our dark eyeliner. But good God do we stick out like sore thumbs. We're the odd men and women out in the sea of white boys and girls, with their pale eyes and pale skin. They don't need an extra dusting of Urban Decay to look the part. They wake up in the morning, throw on a band t-shirt and they are the part.
This was and still is a theme that recurs throughout my life.
Very lately, I've noticed how it creeps into this witch-y path I walk.
I haven't been a devoted Christian since age thirteen when my life went to hell in a handbasket. Even before then, when I was a Christian, pagan paths called to me. How could they not, given the way my mother raised me?
I believe in the existence of many deities. I am drawn to the magic in nature. I dream things that'll happen to me. I see shades. There's no denying, at least for me, that part of life.
So why have I had such a hard time coming to this path? I think, because I was trying to do it the white way.
Go back a few posts and you'll see some pictures of me. I am not white. I sometimes wish I was, but I'm not. I can't even pass for white. Couldn't if my life depended on it. ( I've got Southern in-laws now, and someday my life will depend on it. At which point I will be dead.)
So what am I doing, boning up on the Celtic ways? I've got no business dabbling in Irish things, and British things, and Euro things. I am not any of the above.
As recently as last year, I was wracking my brain trying to figure out why I couldn't keep up with the pagan days and all they entail. Why was I such a failure? Why couldn't I Winter Solstice with everyone else?
Because my Winter Solstice happens on the 24th of June. That is when my people report to the sun-father, and ask his blessings. My people kill a llama and burn its heart. We divine in a drink made of purple corn. We just do it differently. Never better or worse, because those terms don't apply. Just different.
I'm different. My path is different. I think in Spanish, and speak in English, and then I wonder why incantations just feel wrong. I'm the product of migration. My mother got it into her head to cross a hemisphere and start over, and I flail about lost with no grounding and no understanding why I feel upside down.
Thank something or other for Bloggy Godmothers.
P.S. I epically failed at answering the questions in Aine's post, but I just feel too stupid to answer them. I apologize.