The Face of Courage

“When did you become so political?” my partner Joey asked me.

I set down the irreverent flipbook while laughing at his response to the image that I posted with much glee on my Instagram page.

“Mommy, when I grow up, I want to smash the white racist, homophobic, patriarchal bullshit paradigm too.”

“I have always been this way,” I replied. “The media, corporations, and politics just recently made everything I believe in political.” Women’s rights. Religious, health, and gender freedom. Equality for People of Color. Mother Earth. I think to myself. “At least the darkness is fading enough so the lightworkers are being seen now – that is a good thing.”

Salem, Massachusetts, Bizarre Bazaar 2005 (points for who remembers my spanking spoons)

Mid-quarantine, my son Kobe and I participated in a twenty-minute meditation and candle gazing. In the meditation I saw myself as Wonder Woman (why not?) and with my golden lasso, I captured all the one-percenters whose greed has kept the full measure of our planet’s resources to themselves. Light workers encircled the power hungry and from their hands, hearts, and spirits they beamed white golden light to blast away the darkness that had overtaken the greedy few.

While we may not have golden lassos, we can blast light through our greed, our fear of scarcity, loneliness, and despair. We can unpack stories that divide us from each other and our most golden self.

When I was a child, a bully beat me up for not being Mexican enough to wear a handmade folkloric dress and blouse to school on Cinco de Mayo in the barrio. We moved to a white community and my new friends advised me it would be better if I didn’t tell people I was Mexican. My mother told me to be proud Latina, my grandfather wanted his family to assimilate. And then I was told that Gringo lawyers stole our family’s land and wealth.
We were Californios!

L-R, Black Madonna of Montserrat, Tower Tarot Card, Californio Vaquero. This trio depicts the healing I feel when we recognize damage we have done and return to the Sacred Spirit

Through oral storytelling, DNA memory, and intense fact-checking, I have spent much of my life trying to understand belonging, power, and racism through generational memory and terrapsychology. Captivated by the judgment and exclusion of the land beside the Santa Ana River, I have written four unpublished books (only three-quarters through), a script, and countless blogs. I Finally completed a beautiful essay that offers a sliver of my journey and then I submitted it to Memoir Magazine. Yeah me!

“The Face of Courage” is about the impact on one family, one descendant of the 1769 Spanish Colonization, 1848 Mexican-American War and the 1936 Citrus Strike: events that weave through me as a complex and beautiful composition of my matriarchal bloodline. My story brings to life the grandmother I never met but who gave me her name, Della, and the strength, courage, and ingenuity to fight for equality, liberation, the badass Goddess within.

My desk at the time of writing this blog. White Shoulders was Nana’s scent read more>

Della believed wholeheartedly in the great potential of the human spirit to overcome the greatest of calamities.Light a candle and dream with me of a world of true liberation, equality, and love for all.


The Tower helps you give up what you thought was your identity, what you were supposed to be, so you can be what you truly are. Under the guidance of the Tower, the things you cling to most desperately and believe you must remain attached to fall away. Without all of these perceived constants, you are forced to find an inner strength. Your defenses crumble so that the light of truth can strengthen you. The Tower symbolizes the possibility of rebuilding from a sense of your beliefs and continually finding fresh and new ideas—a wanderlust life of consistent, personal evolution. Pay attention to the awareness that shows up through lightning-fast insights and the power of the moment, and you will get through any crisis with your natural courage. – Jamie Della, The Book of Spells
Nana Della

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