Celebrating the Arts, Part 3 of 3

The last installment in the three part series in the celebration of the Arts focuses on the reflection of relating with others.

Since the beginning of this month I’ve been reading Gus Lee’s novel China Boy and have also been reading aloud some of my selected poems that focuses on the voice of the Asian American experiences at spoken word gatherings around Los Angeles; all of this focus on Asian American culture is an effort to continue celebrating Asian-Pacific Heritage awareness throughout this month.

Gang gather up at NoHo’s Unbuckled Poetry Event (L to R): Michael Churchman, Jamie Calame, Kimberly Cobian, Rae Shaw, Armando Ortiz, Scott Nichols, and Henry Chow

As I read these works aloud to myself and to my listeners, I’m reminded of how everyone – no matter what ethnic background one may be – are connected together and share in the same situations, which most of everyone goes through.

And as I reflect about the attention I’ve given so far to the awareness, I’ve come to realize that any struggle one goes through – no matter how large or small – someone, somewhere can always find a way to relate with another person’s situation.

I shall share a poem with you so to illustrate what I mean about one relating with another’s situation:

U.S. 1942

They came before dawn.

A knock loud on the door,

stood two white men, said they were investigators.

They wore a top hat, a long raincoat, and a grim look and said,

“Take your belongings and come with us.”

Our family loaded the luggage onto the car.

My mother still sullen from last night’s news.

My father, quiet, only guided me towards the car.

The driver shouts, “Hurry, we don’t have much time.”

Inside the car, my sister idly sat – not a word escaped.

The car drove past our city – far past – its limits.

We reached the North East horizon; its surroundings were bare,

dry, empty, and cold. It was the middle of December;

distant mountains was filled with snow; the sky never looked

so gloom from the car’s window.

I was twenty-and-two when I arrived.

Never have I seen so many Japanese and

Japanese-American all in one place.

My sister was only tenth-and-five when we arrived.

I see her every now and then: the classroom, sometimes;

but often in Paradise Park.

Paradise Park: the only place

where dreams live and reality

ends; where a steady waterfall from

Turtle Rock’s pond washes our daily

lives’ trouble away; where children are free to roam

across the field – without

the fear from the towers’ guards.

They stand-by with

their watchful eyes;

making sure no one

leaves the site – with

their quick fingers by the trigger –

always ready to answer its inquirers.

I hope you’ll continue picking up fun and new things to read and opening up yourself to new experiences so it can help you find yourself in relating with others. I wish you well on this pleasant journey as you continue to expand on your horizon.

In case you missed the last two series of Celebrating the Arts post:

Part 2: The Art Cruz

Part 1: Restoring Peace with Art at USC’s community

Next Post: Thursday, May 17 Friday, May 18


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