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A mural for my mom's home, inspired by how wild monsteras climb and hug the trees

I spent the weekend painting this #Monstera Embrace in my mom's bathroom.

As said by environmentalist Robin Wall Kimmerer:

"The trees act not as individuals but somehow as a collective... What we see is the power of unity. What happens to one happens to us all. We can starve together or feast together."

Also as a result of this mural, this poem followed.

Nearly every piece I create
Hair is depicted as a landscape
or something to embrace.

And every time I paint this,
It serves as a love letter

To my mom's and my own overcoming
Of the colonized teaching

That her curls and my waves are not beautiful.

For every time someone said we should straighten our hair
For every time we listened
For every time an elder compared it to those in the mountains, as if condemning where our roots may lead

I accept how those moments may have touched tender wounds

Passed down from our ancestors
Since the day we became othered on our own lands.


I demand for myself and for those to come
The passing down of those wounds

End with me.

Our hair reflects the curves of ocean tides, the lows and highs of mountains, the sways of wind

Our hair -- as it often tells us-- has a life of its own, inhaling and exhaling as it pleases

We may not know exactly where our roots lead
I'm honored whether it be to the people of mountains or valleys or seas.

Whoever and wherever
These roots are rooted to,

I'd like to think that each of these paintings
Are not only healing my wounds

But those I've descended from


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