Do you feel it, the desire to tiptoe into the New Year, lest you wake a new giant that might confront you with another endurance test of our humanity, our environment, our peace? Yet it was with unexpected joy I opened my mailbox this holiday season to find a reminder to never give up on the power of words to open us to the possibility of a better world. That reminder is Abrazos, the 10th Anniversary Anthology of DoveTales, which is the literary journal of the nonprofit Writing for Peace. Below is a copy of my essay, The Dark Matter, which I was honored to discover included. If you’d like to buy the anthology, full of the work of writers for whom words are conduits of peace, limited copies are still available at WritingForPeace.org.
The Dark Matter
Cara Lopez Lee
I’ve been feeling the loneliness that comes with the realization that not only do others not see the world the same way as I, but that nobody sees it the same way at all. Not a one. Not even the people who vote the same. Not even the people who like the same movies, books, and dances. Not the dearest of friends.
As my holiday gift to you, allow me to share a funny, touching story that originally aired on The Otter Story Hour’s show: Family Feast. Every Christmas, visions of tamales dance in my head. Actually, I eat tamales year-round, maybe because I’m a Mexican who grew up in Los Angeles. But don’t let that fool you – I have a fraught relationship with tamales, thanks to my family. Want to know what I mean? Go to the following Facebook link for a video of that November 2020 Show. You can find my story, The Tamale Incident, at 50:06, or grab snacks and watch the whole show as several delightful storytellers share tales of feasting.
As many of you know, I’m writing a historical novel inspired by family stories my Mexican-Chinese grandma used to tell me: tales of secret immigrants and mixed races, family loyalties and betrayals. I’m also involved in the world of live personal storytelling, and The Storytellers Project recently invited me to share a true story about my search for my ancestral past. Here’s a video of that virtual show on the theme of Home. You’ll see my 9-minute story at 19:34. Warning: In the story, I mention sexual abuse, though not in a graphic way.
If you’re involved in the world of live personal storytelling, as a teller or a fan, then you know the pandemic didn’t stop us but only prompted us to find each other online, thanks to dedicated producers who took their shows to the virtual road. Such shows are part of a support system that has kept us glued together as a community, and helped keep me from coming unglued personally. As we prepare to return to live shows, please allow me to share with you this fun little story from one of our pandemic-era events, the Turbine Arts Collective annual Pre-Valentine’s Show. This story is called: The Hooker Bully.
So, you’d like to see more of this sort of thing? Then you’re in luck! 😉 I’m appearing in a half-hour one-woman show for Greystone Theatre Performances, a series of virtual solo performances featuring a variety of artists at Beverly Hills’ historic Greystone Mansion. Here’s the lowdown:
My Greystone Theatre Performance, Trilogy of Traffic, premieres Monday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m., both on BHTV Channel 10 and live-streamed at http://beverlyhills.org/live. After it airs, you can find the video for Trilogy of Traffic at: http://beverlyhills.org/greystonetheatre. Thank you for supporting the storytelling tradition!