The purpose of my quote collection is to express my journey of understanding relationality. Specifically, how I understand my position in relation to others, human and non-human. My experience in this course has been influenced by my previous class: Native American Feminisms. In that class, we were assigned to listen to Dr. Kim TallBear’s podcast “Moving Beyond Settler Sexualities.” (Listen here) Dr. TallBear’s words resonated with me. She explained that the ways in which our society constructions relationships as monogamous limits our relationships with others. Meaning, that we need to change how we define and prioritize relationships. Now, I actively try to be open to other ways of knowing and relating to others.
- “How is nationality made? Men make it with declarations and battles, transactions and deeds. But year after year the children are laid into the soil with their mother’s grief and endurance, tying these women to this ground with cords as thick and red as the muscles of their hearts.” (Levins Morales, Aurora. Remedios, 159.)
I chose this quote because I wanted to start off the collection with the idea of legacies. When discussing colonialism, people often trace the violent acts of white invaders. However, our survival is based on our mothers, the strong women who came before us, who we are built on and who we are still tied to.
2. In the beginning, our mother was a turtle, and we all came from her back. Not the tiny painted turtles you can get at pet stores, but the great green sea turtle, the hawksbill,the carey. The one they hunt for turtle soup, for the virility they seek in her eggs, the one whose shell is covered with whorls that map the universe, that they use to frame their eyeglasses, hoping to see.”(Levins Morales, Aurora. Remedios, 44.)
This quote is meant to express that the concept of mothers should not be limited to humans but extended to nature as well. Meaning, that we should consider our relation to every aspect of life that has nurtured or nourished us.
3. Knowledge involves listening, both to everything around us and to the stories that have been passed down to us. Knowledge then is relational.” (Weir, Allison. “Decolonizing Feminist Freedom: Indigenous Relationalities.”)
I chose this quote because it is important to remember that knowledge is relational. We must be open to all forms of knowing to gain fuller understanding of ourselves.
4. “Only when we have traveled to to each other’s ‘worlds’ are we fully subjected to each other … Knowing other women’s ‘worlds’ is part of knowing them and knowing them is part of loving them.” ( Lugones, Maria. “Playfulness, World-travelling, and Loving Perception)
This quote shows that we can better understand and love each other by “traveling” to each others’ world. Thus, by “traveling” to others’ worlds, we can expand our ways of knowing.
5. “Because I, a mestiza, continually walk out of one culture and into another, because I am in all cultures at the same time, alma entre dos mundos, tres, cuatro, me zumba la cabeza con lo contradictorio. Estoy norteada por todas las voces que me hablan simultáneamente.” (Anzaldua, Gloria. “La Conciencia de la mestiza: Towards a New Consciousness.”)
I chose this quote because as a mixed person, I can relate to Anzaldua’s struggle of existing in and between worlds. Anzaldua’s words express the ways in which people’s co-existing cultures and identities may contradict when they are thought to be separate and not in relation to each other. The different voices that speak to us, the different worlds we exist in and between, are constructed by those who came before us. Thus, we must be mindful of the voices that impose coloniality while strengthening those that protest it.
6. “Snake people learn to adapt, to be what is needed, to speak many tongues fluently, to wear and shed skins.” (Levins Morales, Aurora. Remedios, 107)
This quote illustrates the ways in which people adapt and change to relate to their environment in order to survive. Moreover, our existence today is based on the survival of all those who came before us.
7. “Pomegranate teaches community, teaches the delights of love, teaches us to nest in each other’s hearts, to cup the juice of life in our joined hands, union, communion, community of souls, the true and most ancient holy of holies where we find each other naked, place of ecstacy remembered in each cup of wine we bless. When the blow falls and the fruit shatters, let her seeds scatter far and wide on this earth, and spring up everywhere, a million orchards of joy,” (Levins Morales, Aurora. Remedios, 65.)
I chose this quote because Levin Morales used the construction of a pomegranate to encourage relationality and community through love and growth.
8. “You don’t know the places where our bones are, but we are your bones.” (Levins Morales, Aurora. Remedios, 93.)
This quote shows that our past is the foundation in which we are built. Although we may not always be aware of our ancestors’ histories, human and nonhuman alike, they are always within us, they are our hearts, our blood and our bones.
9. “One is connected by descent, country, place and shared experiences where one experiences the self as part of others and others as part of the self; this is learnt through reciprocity, obligation, shared experiences, co-existence, co-operation and social memory.” (Weir, Allison. “Decolonizing Feminist Freedom: Indigenous Relationalities.”)
This quote is meant to summarize that our ways of knowing should be inclusive of shared experiences and social memory. Meaning, that we should not consider the past as just impersonal distant histories but as our own memories and sources of knowledge.
10. “You who are descendants, do not forget us. You call yourselves by names we do not recognize, we were your grandmothers. We were from people whose names themselves are lost. The names of the places we were taken from are not on your map. But the places are still there, and we did live, and you are our children.” (Levins Morales, Aurora. Remedios, 110.)
Finally, I chose this quote to reiterate and emphasize that we are the living legacies of those who came before us. It is meant to remind us that although many names of our past may have been lost, they still exist because we exist.