Pearl from Hephy's Den is a Licensed Creator and Artist from Miami, Florida. She is an ArtCenter College of Design alum and is currently active in both the United States and South Korea. You can find her on Instagram: @hephysden, or her personal website, hephysden.com.
"What a gift it is to be with someone who knows the same stories, the same tastes, the same challenges of belonging and not belonging — as women, as Brown women, as Brown women called to parish ministry, with connections to Hinduism that the church is particularly anxious about and yet has helped us connect to family and also the divine."
If you’ve ever been in the presence of someone who is unafraid of themselves and thus unafraid to truly see you — then you know that it is sacred and holy. The space between you is where the divine shows up fully. There grace abounds.
Your daughter loves a woman. You suspected this was the case; you hoped it wasn’t true — the long summer days with this other young woman, her coming home late at night — you prayed it was merely friendship. You were wrong.
I was challenged with Su not to lapse back into my tendency to be shy or to run away when I feel exposed. The practice was — and remains — to keep showing up. To stay present to the unfolding of a relationship built — from the outset — on the foundation of vulnerability. It is far from easy.
Her story is the story of many first-generation Asian mothers. It is neither one of fame nor of accolade, but is one of surviving, assimilating — especially in small towns — living among few Asians. She is one of the mothers who worked out of the spotlight, scraping together meals, saving coins, sacrificing for her loved ones. A mother who lived in one culture with her children, but harbored a sense of homesickness for her own home, her own native comfort food, her relatives, the sounds and sights of her village streets, and the trees and plants of her hometown.
How will we transcend this cloistered pandemic moment that allowed for intimacies to flourish — intimacies that are usually interrupted by the busyness of the world? How will we respond to being shaped and reshaped by the inbreaking of the “real world”?
Could women center their bodies as their own way of encountering God, without being subject to male desires or control? Can we articulate our own freedom by listening to, ritualizing, and making meaning out of our flows and cycles and senses?
What happens when metaphors and rhetorics about the female body, in service of male control and desire, become literal?