static zine series. volume 1. issue 1.
T A B L E
C O N T E N T S
constructive destruction...Ali Gali progress...Momo Hoshi the five year olds remind me to love myself...Lena Blackmon wade...DV Lucas couplet...Michelle Jia untitled...Janet Chen normal...HB Groenendal untitled...Madeleine Han queer survivalism...Tony Hackett we should remember we are mountains...Ariel Bobbett i know [who i am]...Hilary Sun untitled...Anna Krakowsky untitled...Olina Chau
editors: janet chen tinuola dada lewam dejen hee joo ko financial officer: emma hartung community liaison: courtney pal staff contributors: courtney gao riley simpson natalie fletcher hamzeh daoud cecilia atkins david ryan madhu karra andrew lee mehr kumar caroline aung tony hackett talia flores hb groenendal design: mehr kumar drawings: momo hoshi cover: yeji jung
zines and healing...Olivia Montoya cover: heal & grow by Yeji Jung Yeji Jung (she/her/they/them) is majoring in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CSRE) and minoring in Studio Art and Human Biology. A fellow at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA) and member of the Stanford Asian American Activism Committee (SAAAC), she is an aspiring arts organizer. She loves succulents as symbols of #abundance and bees as bees.
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Healing for me has been an ongoing ever-changing process. I didn’t start thinking about it as active or committing to it until last year (largely through A-lan Holt’s Conjure and Manifest class)--even though I had already started the work for that many years before. Music is and has been incredibly healing for me-whether that is listening to songs that bring up emotions for me (as they are things that are hard for me to express regularly), making songs that allow me to communicate in different ways, going to shows, and amateur freestyling where i get to feel and say what I am feeling and not worry about any of it being “right.” Visual art-including everything from doodles that allow me to zone out and exist in my own world to spray painting which is incredibly cathartic. I also am learning more and more about aromatherapy and healing stones. I am learning about what scents I respond well to and what stones allow me to feel grounded, loved, etc. I am practicing allowing myself to be around people that hold space for my well being and who are actively trying to see me as a person and the ways these relationships can be incredibly healing and how I don’t owe my time and energy to anyone--that I can choose to have better. Movement of my body has been a way for me to feel powerful in my body and to also release emotion. I have danced alone in my room to music since I was a kid, but I have learned largely through A-lan Holt and Aleta Hayes the ways this can be a healing practice and a privilege to do so. I am constantly learning from my self and others new ways to feel supported and to heal from traumas I carry with me everyday and new ones that affect me as I move throughout this world. Adorie Anika Howard, ‘17
pieces may contain sensitive content.
content warning: self-harm
Ali Gali is a queer soul hailing from the complex land of Istanbul. His studies center on societal understanding of mental health, and he is interested in fostering wellness services that come from within our communities. He loves taking photos with his film camera, especially of his friends and communities, who he regards as his true family.
Peeling; peeling of my skin so fast that time becomes a joke. I tear them one by one with anger, fear, and terror, but feel no confusion, not a second of hesitation. I let them fall to my sides and with one move of my arm, Set them on fire. Peeled, fell, burnt. I watch the fire as it erases all that I called myself, and let it take even the ones I once most loved. Peeling becomes burning, burning becomes healing. I need to take a deep breath, deeper than I have ever taken before. I can feel the world around me differently now; it is lighter, more open, and for once I am walking without a mind full of questions. Without the weight of many lies, which were once so true, Without enforced definitions, which leave no space for a self, Without games of the mind, which learns to speak the language of the oppressor, I walk confidently. Healing became finding myself, learning to love myself, and having respect for myself. The transition was not a cry for self-centeredness; on the contrary, It was to reach the tangible, delicate, yet unstoppable force of us: humans. The liberated souls that connect to ones who came before us, live and love with our communities, and know that to love also means to fight with. Because healing is not easy. My queer body strives in the daily to preserve its integrity. The complexity of its passions, desires, and fantasies are beyond what this society acknowledges As Fit. But I continue to peel. This time when I look around, I see my friends, comrades, Ready to hold my hand or sometimes, waiting for me to hold theirs.
P R O G R E S S
Momo Hoshi is a 4th year undergraduate double majoring in Music and Product Design, and minoring with an honors in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Most of the time she is busy running around between classes, rehearsals, and making lunch at Terra, but the occasional watercolor session keeps her grounded.
THE FIVE YEAR OLDS REMIND ME TO LOVE MYSELF
Jeff asks me why my hands have lines on them I say, “It;s because I have dark skin.” Jonah shouts, “It’s like leaves!” It is like leaves; I am growing.
Lena Blackmon is a member of the class of 2019 majoring in Materials Science. She grew up in the Southwest and the West Indies and writes mostly about forming identity. She is a member of Stanford’s Spoken Word Collective and has been published in Rookie Magazine and True Culture University.
content warning: death, blood, abuse
Who’s that lady dressed in red?
Who’s that lady dressed in white?
Who’s that lady dressed in blue?
You don’t believe I’ve been redeemed.
WADE. To walk in the summer heat is a task To work in it, a punishment. Swimming, her pastime Community pools forever her refuge Cooling water, her salvation. I see a young man, head hanging limp As blood trickles from the sores down his back Wounded and beaten. Alive. Wincing as blood stains the waters red. Cooling water, his salvation. Some Sundays we gathered by the pool Fellow Children lined in white linen Sins washed away by God’s grace. He forgives what we cannot. Cooling water, their salvation. She stands, bathed in blue light. Face somber and hollow, Hands raised for us all. Tears falling for us all. Cooling water, our salvation. Then you don’t feel the water that’s flowing in me. Nourished by Deep South taps and water hoses Kept by the love of those before me Troubled by angels. Cooling water forever my salvation. And on Tuesday when my waters flowed, Hot tears for a country that I’ve been taught to love That showed, again, that it has no love for me. I let myself wade in my waters. Hearing the song that takes me back. Hearing the hymns that I loved as a child. Seeing the history in the words…
Di’Vennci “DV” Kerón Lucas is a graduating 4th year majoring in African & African American Studies. Born in the small southwest Georgia town of Americus, DV’s work focuses on historical Black narrative, creative re-imagining, and personal history. He hopes to flex his creative muscle more throughout the remainder of his Stanford career.
Wade in the water Wade in the water, children Wade, in the water God’s gonna trouble the water Who’s that lady dressed in red? Wade in the water Must be the children that Moses led God’s gonna trouble the water Wade in the water Wade in the water, children Wade in the water God’s gonna trouble the water Who’s that lady dressed in white? Wade in the water Must be the children of the Israelite Oh, God’s gonna trouble the water Who’s that lady dressed in blue? Wade in the water Must be the children that’s coming through, God’s gonna trouble the water, yeah You don’t believe I’ve been redeemed, Wade in the water Just so the whole lake goes looking for me God’s gonna trouble the water Wade in the water Wade in the water, children Wade in the water God’s gonna trouble the water Mni Wiconi.
Neither radiant nor fully recognizable Nonetheless I am becoming a butterfly
M. Jia is a poet hoping to grow into a novelist. You can read the entirety of her non-fiction essay, Through Fire, Among Fires, on her website: cargocollective.com/mixue. The essay is on her first, and hopefully last, bike accident.
Janet Chen is a sophomore and editor with STATIC. She hopes to grow as a critical listener and an advocate for marginalized communities through creative storytelling.
content warning: abuse
Normal, they insist, this is normal. The yelling, the fighting, the hits, the punches, the scratches. The hospital visits, the incessant beeping of feeding machines, the medicines, the continual doctorsâ€™ appointments, the cries of pain that no one can help. The sleepless nights, the frustrated groans, the perpetual searching of an escape, the pulled-on smiles, the etched-in furrow of eyebrows. This, they say, is our normal. It is a normal that kills as quick as a syringe of air into your bloodstream. This normal is one that wounds, scars, hurts, and digs into existence itself hard enough, long enough, persistently enough, to become convincing of its truth. This truth grows, it festers, it becomes the only thing that is real, the only thing that holds any weight. Nothing can ever, ever measure up to this truth, to this normal, because the truth consumes and gives nothing in return.
i.e., to heal Is to change, To leave two bodies behind: The broken And the pre-broken. --Michelle Jia, Excerpt from â€œThrough Fire, Among Firesâ€?
Enslavement to this truth is the only thing that matters. Reality, however, seems to have a different truth. Reality has a different normal. One step outside of the all-consuming truth is a sense of safety that is as novel as the sensation of shackles falling off after years of imprisonment. The air is tentative. The fear of something going wrong overpowers the yearning for a new truth that is as real as the old one was fake. This truth takes longer to find. Fabricating a new world, accepting the truths of others, and acknowledging that the old truth has no power yet still reigns feels overwhelming, This truth, the one that must be found instead of adopted, seems to disintegrate meaning itself. Going back to normal is default. It is safe even though it is anything but. It is unstable, unclear, unsafe. But running back into its shackles seems as practical as jerking away from flames. The familiarity of its hold soothes ruffled feathers, yet the harshness of its grip forces all breath away. Realization smacks down violently even though the simplicity of the statement was always a given. This is not normal. Past wounds take time to patch themselves over, but, even then, some scars will remain. The scars point to a new truth, one that liberates, heals, and accepts. Live.
HB Groenendal is a first generation college student who loves to act, sing, and write. Their aspiration is to get into medical school while still learning as much as they can about the art of writing.
Breathe, it is only human. We are nothing more than this rising and falling. --Caroline Aung, excerpt from “The Way We Move”
There are many ways to silence a person. Pretending not to listen is often sufficient (though women will know this method as fruitless & little more). For occasions, surprise (in the form of serendipity, subito apologies) frequently does the trick. In other circumstances, shock might be most effective, i.e. when your 할아버지 was nearly caught by the colonial guard, safe to say onlookers were shocked. More shocking was when he ran and slipped through the border like a shadow, a blip, a seed. One hundred borders later, when your 엄마 had you, you were shocked into the world also. Over time, you grew older & discovered even more powerful than shock was shame. You were ashamed of your yellowness. It was not precious as rice paper or soft as 수국 to touch. 노랑 겉 was ugly & drying & ossified over you like a crust. For years, you hovered over the earth like a 처녀귀신, an indentured ghost. Sometimes your mother reached for your feet in the dark & you turned the other way. At first it was because you were so 부끄러워. Slowly, shame bloomed like pestilence beneath your shell & because of that you learned to feel shameful. This was the most powerful discovery of all, as you learned feeling shameful is the basis of all ordered things. I.e. why your 할아버지, who sacrificed everything for life, still tried to 파괴 his own. I.e. how your mother reaches for you 속삭이-ing your name & does not raise her voice to speak. I.e. the reason you scale the perimeter of your shell, running your fingers over the toxoid interior & pushing them into the fissures & murmuring, over and over and over, I’m sorry, 미안해, I’m no longer ashamed, 미안해, 사랑해, 충분한가요?
할아버지 (ha-ra-buh-ji): grandfather 엄마 (uhm-ma): mother 수국 (su-guk): hydrangea 노랑 겉 (no-rang-geut): yellowness 처녀귀신 (cheon-yeo-gwi-shin): a virgin ghost condemned to phantom-hood after failing to fulfill her traditional duty to serve her father, husband and/or children 부끄러워 (buk-keu-reo-wo): ashamed 상하다 (sang-ha-dah): to ruin 속삭이다 (sok-sak-ee-da): to whisper 미안해 (mi-yan-hae): I’m sorry 사랑해 (sa-rang-hae): I love you 충분한가요? (chung-bun-han-ga-yo): is that enough?
Madeleine Han (‘17) is a senior studying different approaches to investigating the world and learning to come to terms, among other things.
Tony Hackett is a frosh this year studying the intersection between race and medicine. His interests vary widely, but are mostly centered around creative expression, social justice, and philosophical inquiry. When he isnâ€™t found aside a stack of post-modern French philosophy, he can usually be found playing ultimate frisbee, halfway across the country at a debate tournament, or (rarely) sleeping.
Queerness has not ever been and is not now. Queerness is the ephemeral, the fleeting moments of warmth and comfort that lie just on the horizon, out of reach. Through its idyllic intransience we are taught to look toward the future with wild, unbounded hope despite the social and political morass of the present. Queerness is in and of itself a rejection of the present in favor of an escape from the current temporal realm. Queerness is an unending, unyielding polemic against that which seeks to erase it. Queerness remains a reminder of a future space, a space of hope, comfort, healing, and potentiality. Today, it is easy to become dismissive of idealism. In a world where queerness remains derelict, defunct, and stigmatized, it is even more important use queerness as an analytic for empowerment and conviviality. Queerness is collectivity. Queerness is kinship. In times like these where our bodies are born into conflict with normativity, it is ever more important to remain communitarian, to remember the names of siblings lost in the ongoing war against our bodies, and to provide a space where we can reconcile differences are remain in solidarity with one another. It is also equally important to accept nothing less than what is deserved. The riotous street-queens who proudly threw bricks during the stonewall riots were revolutionary in their lack of compromise. Though years later, white affluent gay men redirected the movement toward suit-and-tie protests and liberal reform within institutions, and thereby eroded their mutinous potential to achieve change. If history tells us much of anything, it is that we must refuse to give up, and refuse the current choice of extermination or assimilation that the dominant social order provides us. For me, queerness is healing; queerness is catharsis.
WE SHOULD REMEMBER WE ARE MOUNTAINS they told you to be smaller take no space. but how could you? you are an island. the tallest mountain in the world is not everest but mauna kea they just didnâ€™t know how much of you was under water. --we should remember that we are mountains
Ariel Bobbett is a senior just trying to figure out her life. She is majoring in earth systems with a minor in modern languages, and loves being an RA in Okada. She also loves reading, dancing, coffee, and eating things that are bad for you.
i know [who i am]. my worst fear has been that a bystander, a classmate, someone filled with hate will tell my little sister that she doesn’t belong in this country she was born into, and that for a second, however fleeting a second that is she will doubt the existence of our father and mother-he, hands swollen from past harsh, red winters, typing during the day and waiting tables at night, and she, lips in an o as she feeds medicaid baby formula into her child’s mouth, seizing difficult english words that twisted their tongues and spinning them into the threads of chinglish that their daughters speak today. my sister will forget the history of our people railroad laborers, construction workers, laundromat owners, gold miners assaulted with violence and “chink” and fear of what was not understood and that over time she will silence the voices in her head telling her who she is. i open my mouth but she interrupts me, eyes burning with indignation: “i know.” and her firm acknowledgement elevates ghost whispers in my brain into the fully-fledged, mellifluous, soy-sauce-salty, spiritual, 100% chinese, 100% american, beautiful chaos of who i am.
Hilary is a junior studying Computer Science. Her fifteen-year-old sister is the milk to her black tea. When she isn’t coding, she enjoys scrolling through the NASA instagram, drawing, dancing in cultural groups, and writing poetry.
We are really only water breathing Who told us we should always be drowning?
Becoming the person I needed I know no greater or weightier task
Iâ€™m growing a meadow of poetry Where nobody can touch me Just words blooming audaciously And endless miles to float through free
settling out of an old life recreating places breathing new spaces under my ribs
Anna Krakowsky is a poet and water breather currently living in New York City. They enjoy reading, dreaming and time with chosen families. Most of their work right now relates to opening and healing in their own life, and the learning processes of both of these.
Olina is a sophomore who enjoys all things art. In her free time, she likes to read YA trash fiction, take vitamins, go on night time runs, make coffee with her miniature french press, and shop online for bougie teas. She thinks STATIC has a good thing going with this zine idea, and encourages everyone to participate and check it out in future editions.
ZINES AND HEALING When I first heard that STATIC was doing a zine I was super excited, because reading, writing, trading, and collecting zines take up most of my free time. Zines have had a major impact on my life, particularly regarding my means of healing from trauma and mental illness. I’ve gone through trauma related to religious fundamentalism in my upbringing, and have long struggled with clinical depression and anxiety. Before I discovered zines, I didn’t have many coping mechanisms for dealing with these things, and tended to bottle them up inside me until I felt like I was going to explode. I would envision scenarios in my head about one day working up the courage to tell someone about my personal problems, but for a long time I felt I couldn’t. There was a lot of shame around my trauma, depression, and anxiety. It helped when I finally started seeing a psychiatrist and went on medications, but even this wasn’t truly enough to keep the shame and fear at bay. I didn’t have enough of an outlet, and what I really wanted to do was shout.
content warning: anxiety, depression, trauma
Then I got into zines in 2014. I spend a lot of time on Etsy, so it was almost inevitable that one day I would stumble upon the world of zines. I’m asexual, and have a lot of feelings about asexuality, so I was searching for items related to it on that website. I came across a comic zine someone had written to introduce people to asexuality. I thought it would be a good resource to explain asexuality to friends and family, so I ordered it. That was my first zine. I was soon hooked on the world of underground self-publishing. Even more so when I came across perzines (personal zines), where people would spill their guts in little booklets about taboo topics like sexuality and mental illness. It was like being allowed to read other people’s diaries, and I felt a sense of connection with all these people I’d never met. I knew that I wanted to start writing zines of my own so I could trade with people around the world and enhance that sense of connection. When I finally started writing my own perzines, I found it to be cathartic and empowering to talk about my own issues with trauma, anxiety, and depression, as well as tell other stories about myself and my opinions. Writing a perzine allowed me to be self-centered for a while without feeling guilty about it, knowing that since there was certainly an audience for perzines, it couldn’t hurt to add my words into the mix. Since then I’ve received nothing but support from the zine community, and I’ve made many friends and found others with shared identities and interests. Zine-making is a form of self care, and zine trading is a form of community care, both of which have helped me heal. Zine-making has helped me more than any other single thing to feel less ashamed about my problems, to be more open, and to know that my voice matters.
Olivia Montoya is currently a computer science student at Stanford. Identities that are important to her include: queer asexual, mixed Latina, autistic, atheist, feminist, secular humanist, artist, and chronically ill. She writes the zines (meta)paradox, Anecdata, and others. Find her at http://oliviaszines.tumblr.com/
Whenever I find my anxiety starting to spiral out of control, I try to remove myself from whatever situation I’m in and take deep breaths until I (hopefully) can regain composure. I also have a list of albums (e.g. Solange’s A Seat At The Table) that help calm me down and focus on my own self-worth. Jonathan Fisk, ‘17 I sing or perform with fellow musicians. There’s something about making something beautiful with other people that makes me feel useful and important. Meditation also helps me put the craziness of life into perspective. Stephanie Fischer, ‘18 I like to journal. I write my stream of consciousness, throw out words that capture my emotions, draw little figures that tell stories about a feeling I’m feeling, write letters that I’ll never send, and play around with lettering. I also like to fold my clothes and clean dishes. Pooja, ‘17 When the anxiety gets particularly bad, I usually need to slow down my breathing. There are a lot of helpful apps (even gifs!) that help you do that- one of my favorites is “Flowy” which has you play a game while you breathe. I also have found that walking around outside helps tons with bad moments of anxiety and depression, even if it feels like the last thing you want to do when you’re in crisis. Julia S., ‘19 I’ve started making time to read every night before bed. Even if it’s 2 AM and I only get through three pages, I find comfort in gradually chipping away at a novel. Knowing that I read daily for the joy of it helps me feel like I have free time and that I’m in charge of my schedule (not the other way around). Janet Coleman-Belin ‘19 Art is my therapy. When I’m at my most stressed, I find somewhere quiet, forget about the rest of the world, and paint. Amy Kouch, ‘19 Every morning, I set *at least* 20 minutes aside to work on my vinyasa practice. Sometimes, I will smudge myself beforehand, and let the sweat of my asanas continue the cleansing process. Always, I finish with a savasana and a blessing. Jess Spicer ‘17 I heal through journaling, through raw and unapologetic words only intended for myself. Journaling gives me permission to self-validate. I like to focus on my anxiety through journaling, because it makes me feel closer to myself, and I heal through this self-reflection and self-intimacy. Janet Chen ‘19 One activity that helps me take my mind off of stressful situations is working out, specifically using the elliptical. I also enjoy meditating, listening to music, reading, and watching movies, which are both distracting and therapeutic. However, I find talking to others to be most healing in that it usually gives me a sense of support, a refreshing perspective, and/or new ways to cope. Riley Simpson ‘20 Writing. I try to be completely honest with myself and type out a stream of consciousness to try to materialize the things that are hurting me onto the page, so even hurt that I’ve learned to mask or ignore or dismiss becomes undeniably visible. Then I can face them, address how I really feel, work through it, ask, how can I make this better? and translate that into either action to reduce harm or forgive and leave it behind. Jessica Chow ‘18 I talk to my friends about how I feel. I cry, hug people and sing. Courtney Gao ‘20