It made sense to begin with Frida.
My Mom is a painter. She was always fascinated with Frida and her fascination became mine. On the wall of her makeshift studio, my mom had a print of one of Frida's self-portraits. As a child, I didn't understand it. Art to me was rainbows, daisies and puppies. What did this woman's solemn stare mean? Taking only side glances at her weighty unibrow, I felt her gaze ominous and mysterious. I later learned that it was titled, Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940.
The symbolism in this portrait is unmistakable. Frida's gaze is direct and stoic. Thorns, seemingly tied by a black monkey, encircle her neck. The hold is so tight, her neck is punctured and bleeding. On the right, behind her shoulder, sits a black cat while a lifeless hummingbird hangs on the thorn that knots around her throat. But Frida is not a victim, there is still hope and transformation hovering amongst the verdant tropical leaves and butterflies that surround her.
Childhood disease, a crippling trolley accident, chronic pain, miscarriages, betrayal, abortion, depression, a lifetime of surgeries: Frida was a fierce survivor. She sustained multiple injuries, including a fractured spine and pelvis, when the bus she was riding collided with a streetcar. Once discharged from the hospital, Frida was bedridden with chronic pain. She was 18-years-old. But, instead of lamenting all the things she couldn't do, Frida began painting on a special easel her mother made her.
For almost 30 years, Frida unapologetically painted the deeply personal and political. She bravely turned her life inside out on the canvas. With defiance and a ferocious survival instinct, Frida made transcendental art.
Frida was a fighter.
So...in all of its perspective giving glory, the powerful portrait of Frida on the wall of my mom's studio represented PASSION, RESILIENCE AND HOPE.
No excuses, just paint.
Whatever your passion, against all odds, do it now.
So on the evening of July 6, I channeled my inner Frida and wrote the first three lines of a blog that I'd been putting off for months, maybe years. I started.
Frida died 64 years ago today, July 13, 1954.
Light a candle for Frida tonight.
As you reflect on your day and what you want for tomorrow, ask yourself “what would Frida do?” and see what happens. You might just start something you've been putting off.