Not much in the way of words, but I made this a while back when I was thinking about him and I been thinking about him this past week a lot too.
It’s a calavarita- Mexican-folk inspired, like a Day-0f-The-Dead sugar skull. I lived in Guanajuato, Mexico for 6 months back in 2002, and was lucky enough to participate with a family’s celebration of the holiday. It’s a beautiful time of year (October/November) to visit Mexico. Especially the City of Guanajuato, which at that time hosts the Cervantino festival, a monstrous, 4-week arts celebration that turns the tiny town into a mini Mexico City for a month. It’s amazing.
But anyways, that time of year rolls around and Mexicans make sugar skulls and put them everywhere. They make them in memory of their dead loved ones. My dad died when I was 18 so he never knew I got a degree in Spanish or that I lived in Mexico, or that I live in FL now. I think he would be glad to know I quit smoking. He died of lung and prostate cancer, back before they could do too much for prostate cancer and even celebrities like Michael Landon fell prey to it.
Guess since we’re talking about death and Mexican folk art I should mention that, if you haven’t already noticed, I love Mexican art and it does tend to influence my style. In fact this blog is named after one of Frida Kahlo’s paintings:
Khalo painted this in response to a news story in which a man had slain his wife brutally by stabbing her 22 times and then appealed to the judge, stating, “but it was just a few small nips!” Many of you already know this story but I think it bears repeating. I chose the title for the blog because we live in times that, while superficially different, haven’t changed that much at several institutional levels. Women still have to go on trial themselves in order to defend themselves against abuse and so very many of them don’t even bother.
Men still tend to think that women are there to serve them and since women’s rights crawl forward at a snail’s pace, there is now mounting hostility towards women who have the audacity to stand up for themselves and go through the fiery hoops of the judicial system to protect themselves.
Urban myths develop. Men have the idea that there’s this plague of false accusations flying around and “ruining the lives” of perfectly well-meaning men. Because men have been trained to believe that their lives are the only important ones in this world.
So thank you Frida Khalo, and thank you Dad. I wouldn’t be who I am without the influence of both of you.