Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yusuf Islam On Charlie Rose (Part 1)

I find Cat Stevens' transformation to Yusef Islam interesting. It's something I can relate to in my own way as I changed my name to Luna. It is as he says a decision one makes, in my case, the decision was not only about identity, but growth. I am still on this journey which I may be able to talk about some day, but like Stevens it was/is largely a private journey which for me began in the late nineties when I was earning a doctorate and called a "spic" by a fellow graduate student who seemed to think it was funny. Other grad students and professors couldn't understand where my anger was coming from. Like many Latino/a writers I thought it was coming from social injustice, and I too had a sense of outrage, but in the end, that's not where the anger was truly coming from. The social injustices I felt outraged about, such as poverty, abuse, subjugation etc. where larger reflections of the familial injustices I endured as a child, including rape by the person who had given me the previous name. I'm not sure if I'll keep this up. I may take it down at the end of the day. Maybe it's time not to hide such things.

I think I may be interested in writing about this journey down the line, but I'm not sure I can. Maybe it will occur when I'm in my fifties. I do know I am less and less concerned about what Latino poets think or expect regarding things, since in the end, each of us are on our own journey toward understanding and peace. In the end, it is the journey that matters, not the destination. I'm learning and growing and though nobody really reads blogs anymore, I feel healed and healing through the process of writing here.


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