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After Alex Tizon’s article "My Family’s Slave" as regards Eudocia Tomas Pulido (The Atlantic, June 2017)

May 21, 2017

Dear Eudocia,

 

Who knew that your name will be on our lips these days as we ponder your life as a “slave” to the Tizon family? 

What kind of a eulogy is this that stirs up our complacent ideas about servitude? 

We defend it with culture and history while forgiving Alex Tizon’s confession. 

He is gone now, too, unable to defend himself. 

Just as you are no longer with us to speak for yourself. 

We only have our social media chatter now. 

We chastise each other. 

We try to nuance “slavery”.

 

As if we are not slaves, too.

 

Am I not a slave to neoliberal ideas

Pretending to be moral and ethical values?

 

Am I not a slave to this machine

Tethered to my fingertips?

 

Am I not a slave to desire and longing

Ungrounded in the soil of the Earth?

 

Am I not a slave to the written word

That stands for expertise?

 

Eudocia, what shall we ask in return?

What reparations do we owe you?

 

What do I owe you?

 

I know. Someday we will meet

And talk about our cosmic karma.

 

There will be cosmic justice. 

 

For now I work on my liberation

From concepts that bind and blind

From work that disempowers

From words that occlude and elide

From shadows that keep haunting

 

I take your story with me.

 

Sincerely,

Leny

 

 

Leny Mendoza Strobel is an “academic walk out” who is walking on to become a more serious Qi Gong practitioner and as one who wants to become good at Holy Tunganga (the Art of Not Doing). 

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