on making my life a continuous work of art
In early June I underwent a radiation treatment for my thyroid cancer. It involved a series of appointments at the hospital over the course of a week and at the end of it I took a radioactive pill. The radiation was being used to destroy any cancer cells that had remained after my last surgery. This made me entirely radioactive, so I had to avoid coming in contact with others for a period of seven days.
I went into my little cocoon on a Friday. My plan was to go through my metamorphosis as creatively as possible and emerge a healed and cancer free butterfly. I identify with the Blue Morpho the most, for obvious reasons. I mean just look at it!!
I didn't really leave space for feeling like a glorious hot pile of dog turds. Which is exactly how I felt when I developed some severe nerve pain in all of my body for about 3 days. The second day was the worst. I spent most of it laying on my bed like a dead starfish, crying and cursing quietly because I didn't even have the energy or ability to physically shake my fist at God. As I laid in my bed crying about how my whole entire body hurt and “how am I supposed to make art if I can’t move my arms”, I started thinking about how Frida Kahlo was literally impaled by a metal rod and yet she painted little butterflies all over her cast while she laid in bed FOR MONTHS recovering. If Frida could do hard things, so can I.
Frida is one of my favorite artist, and it’s not just because growing up she was the *only* Latina artist we were taught about in school. I always really loved how her work was drenched in symbolism. It’s fascinating to me how vastly different she perceived herself from how the world saw her. She was very critical of herself and had very high standards… hmmmm sounds familiar….
So I decided to watch Salma Hayek as Frida in the film directed by Julie Taymor. I love this movie and highly recommend you give it a watch if you haven’t seen it. It’s BEAUTIFUL. I love how mixed media the movie feels. I love the music, the colors, the acting. It’s all so brilliant; and it inspired me. All I want to do is make art that makes people feel the way I felt watching that movie— ALIVE. So I’ve decided I’m in my Frida Era.
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