My diasporic journey began across an ocean of tenderness. I was born in Taiwan, a country that nourished me with coconut water, live and vital from the shell, with tropical fruits borne from the rich soils of an island that is kissed by the sun for many, many hours of the day. An environment that nurtured a kind of collective sensibility that would eventually guide my move to an entirely foreign landscape known as Vancouver, on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples.
This coastal rainforest began to teach, nourish and sustain me against the trauma of cultural displacement. When I wake up every morning and ask my plants, "are you thriving, or are you surviving?" I am by osmosis asking myself and my communities that very same question. It is from this ethos of collective care, through an ethic of tenderness, that has enabled me to collaborate with people through critical curiosity, imagination, and love. Here, I am reminded that the air we share also becomes the breath that we need to talk to each other, to understand one another.
A feminist geographer once told me, "an intersection is when two or more points meet, and at that intersection is when the most 'accidents' happen". I’d like to think that where we all meet across our various multiplicity, are also full of accidents, tension and messiness. We are not monolithic creatures, instead we live interconnected lives, full of empathy and extraordinary nuance. It is from this place of imaginative possibility where I find a richness in story, knowledge, and a capacity for social change.
We all want to see ourselves reflected in the stories that are told, and I want to experience meaningful ways of building solidarity across the world, to make artful social change together, preferably over a dinner table. So, let’s eat, let’s dream, and let’s play.