Not Trying to Start a Race War, Just Trying to End One *

Papaver somniferum (bud of blossom above)
The last rains of spring (California School of Herbal Studies)
*Saw this on someone's sign at a peace rally

I don’t even know where to begin, but maybe my college years are a good place to start.

Almost ten years ago, I began to think critically about race and racism in the U.S. thanks to the awesome professors I had at De Anza College and U.C. Berkeley. First, my college classes during Fresh/Soph year were centered around how different ethnic groups within the Asian American umbrella came to the U.S. and how they/we were treated.

I learned about internalized racism, and oppression that is so systemic and ingrained that even those who are not white-skinned partake in reinforcing that white is best (e.g. communities of all races subtly or not-so-subtly promoting the lightening of skin, hair, eyes, and on and on).

Jumping from community college to Cal, I learned more about Native American history, African American history. I think the rage I felt for my Asian American, and fellow People of Color overshadowed any teenage rage I ever had. Well, it was a different kind of rage. This rage has continued in me today; however, I’ve learned to channel it into taking action and creating connection with P.O.C. communities as well as white allies/accomplices who want to work and fight together. I am absolutely still learning, still listening.

Sadly the education I received is not mandatory for all Americans, but it really should be because the revisionist history taught in the public elementary - high school system is a contributor to the divide in our country today. YEA, I SAID IT.

Being a fair-skin to tan petite Asian American woman means that I don’t fit neatly into the Black and White dialogue. I absolutely have benefited from white privilege because of the proximity of the color of my skin to white. On the other hand, some of my earliest memories as a child are receiving racist aggressions, unintended or not.

These past few weeks have heightened the general heartache I have felt over the last two years of publicly-shared murders of black people. Thank goodness for social media and the internet because it’s a platform to share the sh*t that still happens to Black/Brown lives, otherwise invisible to those who don’t live the experience (people who have skin my color or lighter). Yes, it IS necessary to talk about race because racism is one of the root issues in this tangled mess. #BlackLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatter #BlackLivesMatter

Before entering into discussion about Black Lives Matter, and before critiquing the movement, be prepared with knowledge and history of the oppression of P.O.C. Can’t rewind back to your college years and take radical, awesome classes on the People of Color in our country? It’s okay, you can start with this book:

And these blog posts/articles have been greatly helpful:

Where did April go!?

For a sweet friend, a marriage congrats card.
My pair from Rachel Corry's Sandal Making class. I want to get my hands on some California-produced leathers now!
Making my mom a pair of sandals for Mother's Day.
And, my next footwear project is going to be....
...a pair of these! My foot is pictured in someone else's pair, made by Rachel.
I highly recommend Rachel's class. It was so much fun, fascinating, and satisfying to go home with my very own handmade pair of sandals. She has a Skillshare class up - quickly, take it if you cannot attend her class in person! 

Himalayan Blackberries Take Over

These sketchbooks from Pentalic are my favorite spiral-bound books for light wash watercolor work.

Himalayan blackberry is all over my yard and it's fortunately at a manageable amount - just have to trim off and uproot what I can. It'd be futile to attempt completely removing it. It's still inspiration for creative work.

More Mushrooms

A family of fruiting morels are in my front yard! They were discovered during weeding and general garden tidying. What's your favorite way to eat them? This is my first time finding edible mushrooms "in the wild"! 

First Day of School

Classmates' feet dangling from our "barn" classroom loft.
Plantago (plantain), Achillea (yarrow), and Stellaria (chickweed off scene). Can you guess what we made?

Piece I made few weeks ago. The mighty Taraxacum officinalis (dandelion). One of my favorite weeds, ever. 
I'm beyond fortunate to have the means and access to attend school for western botanical medicine. So much gratitude for everyone and everything in my life that makes this possible! 

To all my loved ones who donated money toward my tuition: I'm making your balms and salves this week! Forgive me, I have been struggling with that mildew and other household ailments turned into bodily ailments! *bow*