Can you hear your voice anymore? Where are you from? That's the question I get asked wherever I go. I have often wondered why people are always asking me that question. I can speak however I choose to but it must be that original tongue that can always come through no matter where you are or who you are with. That is not a bad thing; it's just funny when people ask about it, but who cares. That original tongue is the first tongue you hear that you never lose. We try to conform, train or tame it in order to be received by certain ones but there is nothing to be ashamed of if it brings all the beautiful colors and hues of who you are to the surface. Hanging on to the essence of your ancestry through your voice is what you bring to the table. It speaks of your informative years. Your world is in your voice, without it, a piece of the story will be lost. Hanging onto your voice can be challenging in a world of fear, where everyone wants to think that someone has to be the enemy. It is by sharing your story that will tell the history and build bridges to make friends. Let me see your world through your voice. The melodies that flow like the river off your tongue, brings back memories to my ears. I am able to write new music because you have given me new notes, not heard before. Your voice plays new chords reaching a new people, for a new day, touching the heartstrings of tomorrow's dreams. Sing a new song with your voice. A fresh breeze brushed my face tenderly as you spoke of your native memories, latent within your soul. I am honored you chose to share with me those memories that moved me in your land with curiosity of how it was for you walking those trails, and enjoying the view of fresh flowers, plush green trees, flowing rivers, rounding the beautiful mountains. Without your voice I could not have peeked into your country and imagined your childhood but now in my heart I can feel your melody because you shared Your Voice.
By: Brenda Williams
This piece is dedicated to my friend Ly and his son. I would like to thank him for sharing his story of coming to this country with his father and family after the Vietnam war. I truly appreciate him teaching his son, their family traditions and remembering the value of their language/voice.