Carrying forward cultural wisdom, and turning it to progress.

Carrying forward cultural wisdom, and turning it to progress.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how different my life is than generations past, because of the experiences and hardship that came before me. Wondering if I’ve disappointed or abandoned the powerful roots of women in my family because I live within the comfort they worked so hard to build.

Thinking about how to reconcile the knowledge that I wouldn’t exist without that pain.


How do we walk the line between owning and appreciating our freedom to make decisions, to go to school, to choose who we live our lives with – and the other side – feeling that we may have disappointed the last generation by how soft we’ve grown?


I find the answer in a lot of today’s feminist movements. As an adult woman, my mindset has shifted. It’s now my responsibility to make sure that the women who come after me, do not have to fight for the same things.

And so the wheel turns.

I hope you enjoy how these thoughts manifested in the poem below.






My mom
washes dishes until her hands are raw
Feet like roots in the cracks of the kitchen tile
Her hips kiss the countertops
over and over
There are little holes in her shirt
from all the rubbing.

In the evenings
she soaks her feet in the bathtub
scrubs her heels
with the same fervour
she reserves for the dishes.

I sit on the edge of the tub
and compare our feet
The softness of mine
and my fingers, too.
I ask why she makes herself raw
She says,
“It’s the way my mom taught me,”
and rips the plug from the drain.
I watch the generational wisdom
circle with the water
around the drain like tides to the moon.

I found a crack in my heel today
Asked it how it came to be
Why it had to become
this nagging pain
like my grandmother’s thumb
in my shoe
reminding me
that I haven’t been scrubbing the way she would

When I rub it with moisturizer
and cover it softly at night
I think about how soft I am
How the hardiness can erode
in just two generations.
How I don’t know
How to scrub like they did.

This is the comfort they built

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