Newly released on March 18, 2022, Nic Masangkay’s “Mothers” explores the unlearning of possessive love and how to better honor our matriarchs. The song was inspired by 2000s R&B music and was released with a new music video filmed in Washington’s Deception Pass.
“Mothers” is the second single to Masangkay’s larger project, We Came of Age as Love Was Changing, which will be a prose poetry book, music album, and multimedia performance.
sweet Holy Spirit sweet Heavenly dove guide me with your goodness fill me with your love
She sang as she wrapped the flour around the lard, caressing the mixture in her fingers like it was worthy of love. And that is exactly the way that it was that she felt. Your food didn’t taste good if it wasn’t no love in your heart. Her Mama learned her that when she learned how to make biscuits. How you shouldn’t cook nothing if you feeling like your heart wasn’t clean. So she probably shouldn’t even be in the kitchen this morning. But she don’t have that luxury. She got these chir’en to feed. Sometimes her Mama felt so close she could almost see her. Just there, right outside the corner of her eye. She felt her the most when she was cooking in the kitchen. Even tho it had been more than 20 years since her Mama had died.
In celebration of love in our community, the Emerald reached out to community leaders and activists Gregory Davis and his wife Shawn Richard-Davis for inspiration on what brought them together and what has sustained their relationship of nearly 40 years. Gregory sent us this reply.
When I came to Seattle University from Compton, CA, in the fall of 1978 to start my freshman year, it was raining. Shawn met me before I met her. I was taking photos at the Seattle U men’s basketball game when she spotted me. She says my smile captivated her. I did not know. We actually met later, in the winter of 1980, while just hanging out on campus. I was captivated by her sweet presence and smartness. Turns out she was Summa Cum Laude in the class of ʼ83; I was “thankyalawdy,” class of ʼ82. We married in 1984.
It wasn’t the first time April felt that way. The first time was when she pushed her chubby preteen fingers against the glass at the zoo and an orangutan did it back and they stayed like that for nearly a minute before the other kids laughed saying April didn’t have anyone but this animal. The orangutan dropped its hand first.
This time, April had pulled her hand away first. While Marco walked away, April was left in front of the bodega, resting her hand on a single orange in the middle of a pile of them outside the corner store. She felt the first drop of rain that she knew had been coming as she watched her boyfriend go. Marco’s body walked and walked and people heading north and south and east and west poured in around him and eventually swallowed him up. She imagined him skipping down the 96th Street subway stairs, leaning against a column, looking up and down the tunnel as if the train would come from either direction. It always only came from the one direction, she’d always said. She was obviously wrong.
wrapped softly in an off-white threadbare blanket with stained yellow satin trim is a legal document spun of the finest papyrus rolled into a delicate shell burnt edges gilded with flesh ‘you will love hotter than the sun’ it promises … and it warns you will crest a thousand waves and descend ten thousand feet look for the starfish hidden in the crevices they will be your guide when the waters run dark
(This essay is in response to a prompt asking young people about their feelings living through the COVID-19 pandemic and reckoning with white supremacy after the January 6, 2021 insurrection.)
As I look around at the faces of people who have come into my life recently or a long time ago, I feel at peace. When I think of people who have been there for me at different times in my life — times when I felt like the world was caving in and times I felt on top of the world — I feel supported. My grandma who calls me Sunshine, my godmother Ruth who is the embodiment of tough love, my parents who make sure that I know they are proud of me, my zeiza (grandpa) who always believed in me, and many others. As I look at the room full of people here with me as I write, I love and I am loved. In a world full of hate, I choose love.
(This article is co-published with The Seattle Times.)
Listen to this column:
Americans are trauma-ridden people. The sooner we admit this, the sooner we can heal.
Our inherited legacy is threaded together from slaughter, slavery and brutalization, the humanity of millions of Black, brown, Indigenous, poor, trans and other people sacrificed for this country’s prosperity.
Over the span of a month we have seen white supremacists raid our nation’s Capitol trying to rip out the throat of our democracy.