As an Oblivious Nerd Girl I was surrounded by my maternal side of the family. These are the people who saw me in all my early obliviousness. I learned about Pops' side of the family through stories. Pops would regale me with stories about my grandparents, my great grandparents, and his siblings. These stories weave our family history with Filipino Folklore. Many of these stories surround my great grandmother, Lola T. When Pops was little he would get into fights with other kids because they would call Lola T a "babaylan." According to wikipedia this is the definition of a babaylan:
Babaylan is a Visayan term identifying an indigenous Filipino religious leader, who functions as a healer, a shaman, a seer and a community "miracle-worker" (or a combination of any of those). The babaylan can be male, female, or male transvestites (known as asog, bayoc, or bayog), but most of the babaylan were female.
Lola T got this reputation because she was a bad ass lady. One example of her bad ass ness was that she was telekinetic. She could move things with her mind. Pops shared that she could move a glass of water from one end of the table to the end. Lola T could make pencils levitate on their tips. As a child I would concentrate so hard on cups at the dining table. I would try to move it a centimeter on the table to no avail. In class I would balance a pencil on my desk and try to have it stay up with my mind. I always failed.
As I watched American Horror Stories: The Coven, I thought about Lola T. The story line in the show explained that sometimes powers skip a generation. Lola T's power skipped over me. Instead the stories of her actions and her powers resonate in my mind, in my family history. One day I will tell them to my own children and they will learn our family stories. And if my child can balance pencils with his/her mind I will be both jealous and stoked. Until then, I'll keep trying.