Someone once told me that history was useless.
And even though I loved history -
loved it like a child loves her bedtime stories,
falling asleep to dreams of battles and triumphs so long ago,
where evil dwelled as an unbound monster only in the past -
I thought they were right.
But they, and I, were wrong.
I did not truly love history then.
I did not love it like a part of me, like all of me -
until I understood why chink hurt so much when that white boy turned to me
why my immigrant mother got disgusted looks
why people pulled their eyes in a slant at me
why in these moments, I felt as though I was stripped away -
and I cried so much when I learned about the Civil Rights movement,
feminism, Hellen Keller, with countless others locked in
revolutions for humanity -
not because the fight was over, but because it yet lives
and wondered why history class never mentioned people like me -
deaf, Chinese and American, female,
- unless it was to point out those very aspects, as if that was all I (and they) were good for,
why I never saw someone like me on the TV screen, and thought for years
I wasn't pure Chinese, because I was so "dark for an Asian" as non-Asians commented,
why the people
books and media
never saw that I existed, and history didn't, either, until I learned
more history, more living history, more of the world beyond myself
understanding why things were the way they were, and
who I am because of that.
History is so much more than a useless story to me.
I do not love history like a child adores her fairytales, but
I love history -
love it like the painful light of a rising sun against opening eyes
like a bitter medicine I need to swallow,
to taste truth
to feel myself
to know my right