We’re inevitably ridiculous…so might as well dance.
A gush of crimson liquid eerily spewed from her punctured veins and onto her traditional white evening gown. The alleged self-inflicted victim, being a two dimensional Frida Kahlo, lured me into a visual hypnosis as I hesitated to pass up a local replica of Las Dos Fridas (The Two Fridas). This painting, along with Kahlo’s entire collection, is a representation of her own understood reality; colorful, tragic, personal, and exceedingly emotional. Aside from their outlandish elements and grotesque features, Kahlo’s paintings have this distinct aura; an unyielding presence of profound expression. Her utilization of painting as a creative and expressive outlet in coping with her chronically painful injuries and devastating experiences has greatly influenced the way I perceive the world, myself, and others. She has specifically inspired me to be proud of my culture, to acknowledge my natural beauty, to never make excuses, and to always live my life as an ambitious, confident, and exceptional young woman.
I was introduced to her paintings and life story as a child, and could always remember asking myself the question, “Why does she always paint that one thick eyebrow?”. Reflecting on this question, I have come to realize that Kahlo saw no hesitation or shame in portraying herself for who she really was. The superficiality of the world would generally asks this question or ignorantly snicker at the fact that she was born with the infamous “uni-brow”, but Kahlo saw nothing deficient in it at all; in fact, she was proud of it. Through her model of self-acceptance, I have come to better recognize the beauty in where I come from, as well as the beauty in who I am naturally, physically, spiritually, and internally.
“Why is she always portrayed as hurting, bleeding, or crying?” This was another question I would ask that continued to blur the enigma of Kahlo’s alarming style. At the time, seeing such morbid pieces of artwork was initially striking and slightly unpleasant, yet something about the paintings left me yearning for clarification. Through further exposure and research, I later came to interpret her grisly components as representing an underlying message of getting on with life despite personal hardships, as well as rightfully taking ownership of something that she is truly passionate about and physically capable of pursuing. Kahlo’s ingenuity in transforming suffering into something artistic gave not only herself, but those living in similarly unpromising circumstances a sense of hope. As she once stated, “Pies, para qué los quiero si tengo alas para volar” (Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?). This powerful statement allowed me to peer through the eyes of Frida Kahlo’s asset driven mindset. It defined how I should not dwell upon the negatives of any given situation, and rather look toward the positive opportunities and moments that should never be taken for granted. Her indelible strength represents una vida sin excusas (one life with no excuses), thus answering why she depicts such traumatic settings to channel those recurrently agonizing emotions.
The power of artistic expression is profoundly abstract; leaving generous room for ambiguous interpretation. Frida Kahlo, to me, serves as a major historic figure of impact in my life, and because of her boldness in expression, I have been personally influenced by her in better understanding the concepts of self-acceptance, the endurance of hardships, and confidence in demeanor.
Painting: “Las Dos Fridas”-F.Kahlo
I faced the mirror and cracked, but saw that I now have multiple reflections.
In the end, we all speak the same language.
And if the note is too high…belt it anyway.
What makes us different is our story…each and every one of us. Whether you think your story is average, flamboyant, impoverished, or great…each one has never been lived by anyone else except you. Sometimes the richest stories come from the poorest neighborhoods, and the most unlikely characters become the most influential superheroes. Sometimes the main characters never realize that they can change the world, and sometimes they are happily complacent with not doing so anyway. Whatever story you are in the process of living, the empty pages of each day remain completely up to you to publish…or in this case live out. The pen can write the same idea over and over again in the same location, routine, or fashion unless you tell it to be less predictable. The archetypes of our lives tend to predetermine the contents of these unlived pages, leaving exceptional idealism, creativity, fantasy, and fiction left for the daring, select few willing to harness such morbidly unconventional life directions. But what if that eccentricity is where the heart of your novel is truly at? Are you going to leave your life’s passion as an unfinished poetic couplet, or is that passion going to become a revolutionary saga? Are you just going to be one of those minor characters that pop up here and there living in the dream of some other, more self-assured protagonist…allowing him to fill in your pages and you to be dubbed co-editor in the process? And what is stopping you from being the acclaimed author in the first place? Would you look back on what you have written thus far and consider it to be a bestselling novel, or just a newspaper clipping that highlights only one aspect of the greatness sewn into your binding? Your story is being written whether you like it or not, so you be the one to eternally hold those writing utensils. It is your ideas and actions that will allow you to grow and find out about yourself, to challenge your potential, and to influence the world…so get yourself out there.
We never had the choice to be here in the first place, but once we are, it’s funny how the choices become infinite…or do they?
I expected to go in and get a good laugh, implied when seeing anything involving Jack Black, leaving the theater altogether satisfied. That did happen, but what struck me for days after was this concept of “inner peace”. Now, the characters used it to complete this intense water droplet ancient Kung Fu move, but actually attaining this hypnotic-like state is something very more personal and profound. To reach this state, one must “let go” of any anger or troubled thoughts from the past or of the present. One must forgive, and see the good in others, coming to terms with the fact that you are willing to move on, and ready to leave any presence of negative energy behind; “harnessing the flow of the universe”…as the master himself quotes it.
We, as naturally emotional and defensive humans, can easily let trivial, irrelevant, or ignorant statements & circumstances get the best of us…but we also have the power to forgive, forget, and continue along the paths that we are truly destined to lay out for ourselves. The only definitive entity we actually have control over is ourselves, and only we can choose to hold such anger, jealousy, hatred, prejudices, negativity, etc…BUT, we also have the power to let these burdens go…seeing the positives…believing in others…discerning all of the possibilities…and truly harnessing the harmonious flow of this abyss of infinite opportunity…the universe.
The truth behind this concept is very simple: Get on with life. Be happy.
One must forgive and see the good in others, coming to terms with the fact that you are willing to move on…waving negativity goodbye.