02.20.14

 
 

I read all the journals. Agta is all over, in sketches, she talks about the clanging bells, the anxiety, the fear.

The Philippines was my grandmother's home, and even though moving to America was really good for...well, me...she was sad and afraid about leaving. She wrote about and drew a lot of the things that she loved about where they came from. She never did see them again.

The entries get messier when she must have started seeing Agta herself. The connection is clear to me now. She was losing her home, her old life, basically losing herself in a way, and starting over in a strange place, responsible for a family. More selfishly, I was concerned with what made me feel valued by people I thought were important, and lost sight of what I think makes me valuable as ME. Agta messes with your sense of direction and control. He found a new victim once my grandmother learned to break free from her fear.

She made a new home here, she had a grandchild coming, and put all her love and effort into instilling the traditions and memories in me, to pass it all on and give it new life. Then I went as far away as I could so I could avoid this identity and responsibility. I wanted to make my own, according to my own values. But till now I wasn't clear on what those values were.

Grandma, I hear you now.