dVerse — Prosery — Stitched

https://images.fineartamerica.com/images/artworkimages/mediumlarge/3/world-of-equality-taylor-hart.jpg

Everything I do is stitched with its color.
W.S. Merwin, from “Separation

Epithets were part of my family’s lexicon. My paternal side used gentler terms; the maternal side hurled vicious ones with glee. How my family, who lived in shacks, toiled in non-unionized factories, and were blessed to have a rabbit for dinner; and had several gay family members, elevated themselves by verbally obliterating the humanity of others because of the color of their skin or their sexual orientation was a mystery a small child didn’t consider.

What I do remember is dissonance watching my mother’s friendly behavior when the black cashier rang us up at the store. I remember an uncle living a lie with his cover family until he came out years later.

It’s taken decades of conscious effort to “deprogram” myself. Now I understand the power structure’s need for “us” and “them” to rule; yet everything I do is stitched with its color.

[144 words]

top image:  “World of Equality” by Taylor Hart

I had totally forgotten the date this was to be posted was Martin Luther King Jr. Day when I put the prompt together. My apologies for not having a theme that speaks to it. Instead my story does.

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/32/81/75/328175b492b0a79d8b8ce7e2826afbe8.jpg
image link

I am the host of dVerse’ Prosery today. I say:
write prose based on [the above] line[s] of poetry. This can be flash-fiction or creative non-fiction, but it cannot exceed 144 words in total (not including the title) and must not be poetry (no versification, line breaks, metre, etc.)

59 Comments Add yours

  1. lillian says:

    LOVE the image below your explanation. Dissonance, power structures, and the power of “us” justabposed to “them”. The word “them” creates the “other” who “we” can disenfranchise.
    A thought provoking piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Lillian.

      Like

  2. This would take a life time to deprogram. and deep within there is always a shard that will come up again… we need constant vigilance on ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Constant vigilance is a good way of putting it.

      Like

  3. merrildsmith says:

    No need to apologize, Lisa.
    To rise above such “programming”and to see the world in all its shades instead of in black and white is an achievement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Merril ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. merrildsmith says:

        You’re welcome! 💙

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Nature has a hard job fighting against such nurture.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol anne says:

    wonderful take Lisa! Really awesome story! Well done my friend 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Carol Anne 🙂

      Like

  6. Your description of your mother’s “dissonance” was really quite powerful, although a subtle description, it resonated with me. It’s good we have days like today, to remind one another to embrace diversity and acknowledge that deprogramming is often needed. I still remember being shocked when I moved to South Carolina with my husband when he was stationed at Fort Jackson, at how much of an “us” and “them” mentality was present there. Some of the stories I could tell. Still makes me sad. 😔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Tricia, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. rothpoetry says:

    You really did a great job with this one! I am still looking for inspiration on my story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Talk sweet to Your Muse and maybe she will reward you. Thanks, Dwight.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          🙂 Just read about Willie and Trigger. Worth the wait.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. rothpoetry says:

            :>) Thank you Lisa!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              You’re very welcome 🙂

              Like

  8. K.Hartless says:

    I love the image and the music you’ve selected to accompany this powerful piece of prosery on your own personal “deprograming,” which is something so many of us need to share about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, K. I am not sure what music?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. K.Hartless says:

        Oh, I saw a Mitski song linked. Could it be an ad? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Oh wow that cool if it was. I have one of her songs on my main page. Could that be what it was?

          Like

  9. I’ve never understood and will never understand racism and why some people treat others based on the color of their skin or their sexual orientation. Not only is diversity a beautiful thing, it’s also enriching. It makes societies stronger, not weaker!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Christian, I think it is conditioned ignorance or mean-spiritedness at minimum and dangerous and criminal at worst. I agree that diversity enriches and strengthens. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sadje says:

    This is a powerful message Li.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Sadje, thank you very much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re most welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  11. M Jay Dixit says:

    ‘Deprogam’ is a nice way to put it. Those insecurities and notions deeply seated in our psyche are difficult to ‘deprogram’. Nicely done, Lisa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Jay, thank you very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. lesleyscoble says:

    🌈 well written, well said, well read ❤️🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much, Lesley!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. calmkate says:

    diversity is the true tapestry of life, you captured that in this piece and in the prompt in full colour!

    Like

    1. msjadeli says:

      Appreciate the kind comment, Kate.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. kim881 says:

    An interesting post, Lisa, not only for Martin Luther King Jr day, but also in the light of Harry and Meghan’s racism claims. Growing up in sixties London, I had lots of black friends and never really thought about racism until one of my friends was set alight by a racist who lived in our neighbourhood.

    Like

  15. memadtwo says:

    MLK knew how to stitch truth and emotion, and you have honored him with your own words. (K)

    Like

    1. msjadeli says:

      Kerfe, thank you very much. His words and actions still burn brightly in my psyche. I remember reading his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” where he talked about his little daughter being kept from the amusement park and it broke my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. memadtwo says:

        His words resonate more and more every year.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Jim says:

    Thanks for choosing this sentence prompt. I like your retort a lot. I guess better still, I had forgotten “no line breaks” so I’m off post for just a bit, mine is a story and will change it to same 144 words in paragraph form. Now, on my laptop and not this Android smart phone.

    Like

    1. Jim says:

      I think I’m there now, worked well if iit’s okay

      Liked by 1 person

      1. msjadeli says:

        Just read it and commented. Great picture!

        Like

    2. msjadeli says:

      Welcome, Jim! I clicked on your link in Mr. Linky last night but nothing there. Now I see why. Will look for your link later today. Looking forward to what you write.

      Like

  17. Lisa, I so connected to your words… this was deeply meaningful and perfect for Dr. King’s day. 🧡🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Colleen, glad you felt a connection. Thank you very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Beautiful painting of the children on top of teh world. It warmed my heart immediately! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Gia, so happy you like it. It’s a good one.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Suzanne says:

    I like your observation that power is stitched into skin colour. It is a power structure we need to dismantle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Suzanne. Just finished reading about your covid quilt. Such a powerful poem. Also! I am now reading your book. Quite an adventure they are on.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Suzanne says:

        Thanks Lisa. I hope you like the book. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          I’m already liking learning about the environment they are trekking through. I’m also hoping Mitchell gets chomped on by a big cat lol

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Suzanne says:

            lol – thanks – you’ll have to read on to find out what happens to him. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  20. This is a powerful and thought-provoking post. Your personal anecdotes about growing up with a family that used epithets to dehumanize others based on their skin color or sexual orientation is a stark reminder of the insidious nature of racism and discrimination. It is admirable that you have made a conscious effort to “deprogram” yourself and understand the power structures at play. Your mention of the quote by W.S. Merwin, “Everything I do is stitched with its color” perfectly encapsulates how the past and the present are connected and how the actions we take can be influenced by it. Your post is a powerful reminder of the ongoing fight against racism and discrimination, and it’s unfortunate that it was posted on Martin Luther King Jr. Day by accident. However, it is important to remember that the fight against racism is not just on one day, but it’s a continuous journey. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much and I am glad my post inspired you to write your thoughtful and articulate comment. Yes, it is a continuous journey, one we must be vigilant in every day.

      Like

  21. Badfinger (Max) says:

    Reading this made me think of when I grew up. I was lucky to grow up in a place where really I didn’t see much hate. My parents always told me to give everyone a chance and everyone is equal in God’s eyes and if it’s good enough for God…it’s good enough for Max.
    As kids and teens we just knew a friend was a friend no matter their race, religion, or whatever. Of course I saw some…but it was rare. I probably strayed way off point here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Happy you shared what your experience was, Max, and you are blessed racism didn’t permeate your childhood. Your parents did right by you. And no you did not stray off point, it’s on topic for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Badfinger (Max) says:

        Thanks Lisa… I was lucky.

        The whites outnumbered everyone but there was an ok mix…no racial trouble. In Nashville it was different in areas.

        Liked by 1 person

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