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Book Review: "Everything Returned to the Soil" by Briana Muñoz


“Beautiful are my dark eyebrows Which you made fun of But I know they were passed down from my hard-working mother. My culture is beautiful and I refuse to allow you to tell me otherwise” -- “Raiz”



In Todo Vuelve a La Tierra Briana Muñoz writes of pain and suffering but also of fearlessness and strength. In the midst of a pandemic and a world-shifting movement, when we need everyone to use their voice, she is unapologetic with her words. To the world and the people who claim to want better things and yet they are never fulfilled. She holds people accountable and she defends herself, her culture, her ancestors, women. She calls out to the readers. “YOU made fun, I refuse to allow YOU.” We’re not innocent to her, not when we keep quiet. There’s work to do so that everyone can live as equals.

Her book presents the world as it is, with an honesty that only a true poet can present.

And yes, there are many hardships in the world we live in, but underneath all that, there is also hope and kindness. It is presented in family, in dance, in mother nature, in unity for a cause.


She reminds us of our humanity.

We all live different lives, we may fight different battles but in the end, we will return to the soil. It is that unavoidable end that makes life better. It forces us to act for ourselves and for the future. And finally, after all the struggle, we will not treat death as a stranger but we will happily return back home. Muñoz illustrates it best with the last lines of her poem “Transitions"


“I thought about how

this must be, what’ll be like,

when Creator calls me home.”


I would also like to thank Briana Muñoz. Every letter, every word in Nahuatl is a trip back home.

‘Abre tu Corazon

under Tonaltzintli’

-- “Tonantzin”


Gracias por volverme a mi tierra, under the same tonaltzintli my ancestors lived, if only for a brief moment.



 
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