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San Francisco, CA
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A monthly art collective featuring work inspired by a one sentence statement.

A GRAIN OF RICE | NORMA CERROS

A Grain of Rice

It had happened already twice in the same day. It should mean something. A grain of rice caught my undivided attention for very brief but precious couple of seconds. I kept thinking about it, but did not do much to find out. The days went on, and in the middle of a small trip to Tulum, not even its wonderful beach could have brought me to mindfulness, or total enjoyment. This image of a grain of rice kept going on in my mind, making me absent of what was really happening at the moment, leading me into this inner dialogue now I know most of us have, but just a few dare to share or say out loud. What am I doing here? Do I really dare to believe I can make a difference?

As hackneyed as it sounds, this has been my motto for long, I feel meant to it, I feel this huge responsibility to make the most efficient use of each and every of the resources I have been granted. Of course this sort of feeling has brought me humongous standards to follow, which has not been easy, not at all.

Short before we took the plane to attend our social event-mini vacation, I was going through my newsfeed, and while my husband was taking care of my son going to the restroom, I rapidly scrolled down through this article titled “Six films for growing feminist”, and took note of some of them. I remembered I watched Mulan long ago, but did not pay too much attention to it. I also regretted I had not watched Little Women, yet. Then my son and husband came back, and we had to board the plane.

To be totally true, I kept feeling uncomfortable throughout our trip. It was not just the fact that the dress did not fit me, or that it was damn hot. Not just the food, or that the resort did not accommodate my needs. It was me, and this image of a grain of rice, which I could not figure out then.

A very useful thing I have come to learn in life is that, when you like people, things, situations, you are able to disregard aspects or requirements those people or things would have to fulfill otherwise, I imagine this is something similar to what Paul Eckman calls “the refractory period”, which happens when you are flooded with an emotion, unable to pay attention to evidence other than the one that confirms what you are actually feeling, which in the case I am talking about, could be the contentment I feel when I like someone or something.  

It suffices to say that at the time I was feeling unsatisfied and unhappy, unconsciously questioning every step I had been making in the last three years, feeling my efforts were utopic, idealistic, whom am I trying to fool? Myself?

Then, for the umpteenth time, I saw it again, and I paid attention to it. It was a single white grain of rice, and thought to myself, this must be a sign, then I googled “A single grain of rice” … Have you realized the meaning yet?

What I found was not only reassuring, but it felt like the warmest hug, the kind I needed right then:

 

    “A single grain of rice can tip the scale.

    One man may be the difference between victory and defeat”

         - The Emperor of China to Mulan, in Mulan (1998)

 

I am on this, bringing my grain of rice from the deepest part of my heart.

I am helping one woman at a time, showing her that there is way to thrive, and change our environments when they do not match our purposes.

I am proving that we have the right and the power to create the path that allows us to fulfill and combine the roles we choose, personally and professionally.

I am a WOMERANG.