I've learned over the years that we are where we come from. My great-grandmother was a girl who ran through the fields in Eastern Oregon until her skin was brown. People would stop her and ask to take her photograph thinking that she was an Indigenous Person. She actually was, at least more so than the family that came after her and diluted their blood more and more with Europeans. But Great-Grandma hated the people she came from and refused to tell us about that part of our heritage. It wasn't until after her death that we found out we were linked by Great-Grandma's grandmother to the Washoe people.

I ran through fields and along sidewalks as a child. My sisters and I were as wild as our grandmothers were before us. I come from wild women born in Oregon, and I'm glad for it. And now I write as a means to redirect my own disillusionment of who I really am, my good and my bad, my strengths given to me by the women who came before me and my own perceived weaknesses. Great-Grandma wouldn't know what to think of me.

The photographs at the bottom of each page are me with my Great-Grandma in the left, over my current self and into my mother when she was a girl trying to find her own place in the world at eighteen. I miss those remarkable and strong women every day. I write for them.




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