Asian Arts Freedom School hosted a 3-part workshop series with Catherine Hernandez.
In the first workshop Catherine created a circle of safe vulnerability where we had to connect with our muse (or intuition) by making eye contact with other participants then breaking into a body movement. We then split into small groups to re-create a reading of a eulogy. Following the reading Catherine invited us to write a creative eulogy; some people wrote about their past selves and others spoke of abstract concepts. Here’s mine, talking about the death of expectations:
Goodnight sweet expectations. Born before the birth of your mother; plans, hopes, and dreams. You were supposed to bring Fonna the American Dream – husband, some kids, a nice house, with a pleasant job – regurgitating norms.
Fondest farewell as a reclamation is in process. Expectations, you’ve held back many dreams, disappointed many parents, and shattered countless relationships. We now collectively make space for you in the ground in order to allow creativity, uniqueness, inhibition, and pure joy.
Expectations, ever since your passing you’ve allowed people to finally be happy and carefree (It will be interesting to lose you).
Yesterday Alvis and I were the only participants… and the creation process was choppy but hella connected.
Again, Catherine led us through writing and performing the death and life of something/someone. While performing we played with levels, smudged one another, and re-created ourselves with objects. Below is my eulogy celebrating the death of mislabeling self-care:
We mark the end of a significant time period in which doing nothing all day is seen as lazy and unproductive.
This perspective has brought about many fears amongst people who are taking care of themselves, beautifully tangled bodies, and fabulous folks dealing with chronic illnesses.
Today, gathered in mourning are the capitalist fucktards that reinforce the idea of resting is a weak trait.
We wish to never look back at feelings of shame and hurt; instead looking forward to happier, healthier, healing individuals in this community.
Following death, we always look forward to birth – here is my birth announcement about body fat:
Happy Birthday Body Fat!
Born of brown skin, luscious rolls, curves, crevices, and waves. The world opens in acceptance, to growth, and fullness of your being and existence.
Parented by others with different names – baby fat, chubby, big boned, voluptuous – oh, it is a treat to see you today!
Siblings sausage fingers and chub rub rejoice, excited to see you grow into muffin tops and back boobies.
Today we celebrate the concluding stages of body positivity by gathering together in family feasts in order to see you flourish.
Happy Birthday Body Fat! Happy Birthday.
I hope you liked what I created.
P.S. I’m currently jamming’ out to Elton John!