For years, I used the Chinese tale, “Li Chi the Serpent Slayer,” in my teaching. One of the students’ tasks was to choose a moment in the story that resonated and explore why it mattered. For years I picked the same moment, when Li Chi, after slaying the serpent, goes back into its cave and finds the bones of the girls previously sacrificed to keep the village safe from the serpent. She brings the bones back to the village for burial with full honors and acknowledgement of what the villagers had done. For years I didn’t understand why this moment mattered so much until one session, without thinking, I fingerpainted images of people in black and a small blob of yellow, isolated, as if looking at the black images. After the painting, when I quickly wrote: life, abuse, power, I finally understood the meaning of the moment for me. I was ready to go into the metaphorical cave to face the bones of my past.
Life tales from a woman different living in The City Different.