HER-story:

With words and images, I am telling my story. Through art, through sculpture, I am remembering HERstory...
CASIMIRA

Thursday, June 30

in an ocean of people


"I don't know my name,
I don't play by the rules of the game,
So you say I'm just trying,
Just trying,

So I heard you are my sister's friend,
You get along quite nicely,
You ask me why I cut my hair,
And changed myself completely,

I am lost...
Trying to get found,
In an ocean of people,
Please don't ask me any -

But, I don't know my name,
I don't play by the rules of the game,
So you say I'm just trying,
Just trying,

I now know my name!
I don't play by the rules of the game,
So you say I'm not trying,
But I'm trying,
To find my way."

- Grace VanderWaal

I googled this song and lyrics after an inspiring and moving performance by two of my extraordinary nieces 


Wednesday, June 29

sudden bursts of laughter of the goddess


from my Latin Lover...

"Casimira, 
You have taught me to love the beauty in the spontaneous, the chaotic, the sudden bursts of laughter of the Goddess."

- Luis Javier Checa-Pallais

laughter is healing...I am grateful for my sense of humor and for my ability to laugh at anything, everything and nothing at all...


Tuesday, June 28

seeing smoke signals


"The world's flattery and hypocrisy is a sweet morsel: eat less of it, for it is full of fire. Its fire is hidden while its taste is manifest, but its smoke becomes visible in the end."
- my beloved Rumi

los esqueletos mienten para quedar bien con la muerte 

los esqueletos no creen en la vida

los esqueletos esconden la verdad entre sonrisas y baile

los esqueletos mienten para quedar bien con la muerte

Monday, June 27

la mosquita muerta


"They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly."
- Psycho, 1960 Hitchcock film

I killed a fly this morning and thought of the saying:

Es una mosquita muerta.

"Mosquita Muerta: is a person who pretends to be innocent, dainty, and weak (hence a dead fly), but they are actually evil backstabbers. Essentially a Spanish version of a - snake in the grass. They are extremely manipulative and will have everyone fooled by their game except for the smart ones. They will usually try to make the ones who don't fall for their game look like bad people while they play the victim." 
- Urban Dictionary 

this year has seen the least amount of flies...and I know why...







Sunday, June 26

no sé cómo ni sé con qué pretexto


"Mi táctica es -
mirarte -
aprender como sos -
quererte como sos -

mi táctica es -
hablarte -
y escucharte -
construir con palabras 
un puente indestructible 

mi táctica es 
quedarme en tu recuerdo 
no sé cómo ni sé 
con qué pretexto 
pero quedarme en vos 

mi táctica es 
ser franco 
y saber que sos franca 
y que no nos vendamos 
simulacros 
para que entre los dos 
no haya telón 
ni abismos 

mi estrategia es 
en cambio 
más profunda y más 
simple 

mi estrategia es 
que un día cualquiera 
no sé cómo ni sé 
con qué pretexto 
por fin me necesites."

- Mario Benedetti




Saturday, June 25

sparkle in the midst of darkness


the week my son looks forward to all year has begun...

seven days by the sea, surrounded by family...

this year I have a blessed baby girl who is two months old...

she is the center of attention, receiving much love...

tonight the universe reminded me that I must not take anything personally...

and the stars smiled down on me, winking and inviting me to sparkle in the midst of darkness...

"Do not take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering."
- Don Miguel Ruiz





Friday, June 24

gracias Tío


a recent selfie from a silly and playful series taken on a plane...the first photos of me with my TWO babies...

"Entre más hijos, más linda."
- Franklin Caldera

gracias Tío Franklin...

Motherhood as a beauty regimen?



Thursday, June 23

mi padre Nicaragüense


"Close your eyes, have no fear, the monster is gone, he is on the run and your Daddy is here...

Before you go to sleep, say a little prayer, every day in every way, it's getting better and better...

Before you cross the street, take my hand. Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans..."

- John Lennon

snapshot of my beloved father holding my newborn daughter for the first time...a special, blessed day which happens to be Father's Day in Nicaragua 




Wednesday, June 22

if it's selfless love you're looking for, you've got the wrong goddess


Sekhmet, The Lion-Headed Goddess Of War


"He was the sort of man
who wouldn't hurt a fly. 
Many flies are now alive
while he is not. 
He was not my patron. 
He preferred full granaries, I battle. 
My roar meant slaughter. 
Yet here we are together 
in the same museum. 
That's not what I see, though, the fitful 
crowds of staring children 
learning the lesson of multi- 
cultural obliteration, sic transit 
and so on. 

I see the temple where I was born 
or built, where I held power. 
I see the desert beyond, 
where the hot conical tombs, that look 
from a distance, frankly, like dunces' hats, 
hide my jokes: the dried-out flesh 
and bones, the wooden boats 
in which the dead sail endlessly 
in no direction. 

What did you expect from gods 
with animal heads? 
Though come to think of it 
the ones made later, who were fully human 
were not such good news either. 
Favour me and give me riches, 
destroy my enemies. 
That seems to be the gist. 
Oh yes: And save me from death. 
In return we're given blood 
and bread, flowers and prayer, 
and lip service. 

Maybe there's something in all of this 
I missed. But if it's selfless 
love you're looking for, 
you've got the wrong goddess. 

I just sit where I'm put, composed 
of stone and wishful thinking: 
that the deity who kills for pleasure 
will also heal, 
that in the midst of your nightmare, 
the final one, a kind lion 
will come with bandages in her mouth 
and the soft body of a woman, 
and lick you clean of fever, 
and pick your soul up gently by the nape of the neck 
and caress you into darkness and paradise."
- Margaret Atwood

Tuesday, June 21

enamorada de un arbol


"I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree."

-Alfred Joyce Kilmer (1886 - 1918)


Monday, June 20

full moon summer solstice


"Each solstice is a domain of experience unto itself. At the Sunmer Solstice, all is green and growing, potential coming into being, the miracle of manifestation painted large on the canvas of awareness."

- Gary Zukav

a powerful full moon on the longest day of the year...

detail of mixed media on canvas, 2013




Sunday, June 19

father's day


celebrating and giving thanks for all of the extraordinary men in my life...

my husband -

my father -

my brothers -

my cousins -

my uncles -

remembering my beloved grandfathers and father-in-law...

snapshot of my children


Saturday, June 18

for Carlos and Isabelle




“The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They are in each other all along.” – RUMI

snapshots from one of the most wonderful weddings I have ever witnessed and celebrated 




Friday, June 17

my children face to face with Diego Rivera



Being surrounded by Diego Rivera's heart and soul awakened intense sensations in me. The walls whispered, telling me stories of Diego and Frida...

"As I rode back to Detroit, a vision of Henry Ford's industrial empire kept passing before my eyes. In my ears, I heard the wonderful symphony which came from his factories where metals were shaped into tools for men's service. It was a new music, waiting for the composer with genius enough to give it communicable form.

I thought of the millions of different men by whose combined labor and thought automobiles were produced, from the miners who dug the iron ore out of the earth to the railroad men and teamsters who brought the finished machines to the consumer, so that man, space, and time might be conquered, and ever-expanding victories be won against death...

In my previous murals, I had tried to achieve a harmony in my painting with the architecture of the building. But to attempt such a harmony in the garden of the Institute would have defeated my purposes. For the walls here were of an intricate Italian baroque style, with little windows, heads of satyrs, doorways, and sculpturesque mouldings. It was within such a frame that I was to represent the life of an age which had nothing to do with baroque refinements -- a new life which was characterized by masses, machines, and naked mechanical power. So I set to work consciously to over-power the ornamentation of the room."

- Diego Rivera

snapshots of my children at the Detroit Institute of Arts






Thursday, June 16

mother to a new world


"Women must remember the sacred nature of our Goddess self, the call to glory inherent in human incarnation.

We are daughters of history and mothers to a new world.

This is not the time to throw away our power. It is time to claim it, in the name of love."
- Marianne Williamson

selfie with my beloved children, from a silly, playful series taken today while we waited on a plane 



Wednesday, June 15

you never say thank you and you ignore her advice


"She shows up just when you need her. She always gives you the support and counsel you need, and never judges you.

She is an amazing psychic advisor: she knows what the future holds for you, and she can tell you what to do and what not to do to avoid something bad or find the right job, or the right home, or the right partner.

She is a...healer who can help you to fix your body before you get sick, and who has the right medicine and nurturing to speed you into healing and recovery...She makes house calls at any time, and she never charges you a cent.

She's fabulous fun and a great traveling companion. She makes you want to get up and dance, and sing, and play. She loves to fly off to exotic places...

She has wonderful energy. An hour in her company gives you a boost for a whole week.

She'll mother you when you, and your beautiful inner child self, need mothering, hold you when you need holding, and give you a shove when you need to jump through a hole in the world.

She knows you better than you know yourself, in your everyday mind. When she holds up a mirror in front of you, you don't notice the blemishes. You see a being of radiant power and possibility, your ancient and shining self. And in that moment of recognition, you begin to remember and live from your soul's purpose, the sacred contract you signed before you came into your present body.

...and you never say thank you, or remember her birthday. You ignore her advice more often than not...You forget the songs you sang together, and those nights of love and beauty...If you find the moon through the smog and city lights, you do not recollect that she flew you there...

If she were a regular friend, she might dump you as a miserable ingrate. This friend is beyond the ordinary, and she has the patience of an angel - but even the patience of angels is not endless. So if you won't take her advice, she might make less of an effort to warn you...Then the magic begins to flicker in your world, and you are more alone than you ever need or want to be.

...dreams require action. We must take action to honor the friend who visits and advises and travels with us in our dreams, but the most important is the one we find in the mirror - when our sight is clear: the ancient and shining self. 

Taking the right action to honor dreams is practical magic of a high order. Real magic is the art of reaching into a deeper reality and bringing gifts from it into the physical world. This is what we do when we honor dreams, and the powers that speak through dreams."
- Robert Moss


Tuesday, June 14

ye tang che


"Turning your mind toward the dharma does not bring security or confirmation.  Turning your mind toward the dharma does not bring any ground to stand on.  In fact, when your mind turns toward the dharma, you fearlessly acknowledge impermanence and change and begin to get the knack of hopelessness.

In Tibetan there's an interesting word: ye tang che.  The ye part means "totally, completely," and the rest of it means "exhausted." Altogether, ye tang che means totally tired out.  We might say "totally fed up."  It describes an experience of complete hopelessness, of completely giving up hope.  This is an important point.  This is the beginning of the beginning.  Without giving up hope -- that there's somewhere better to be, that there's someone better to be -- we will never relax with where we are now or who we are.

To think that we can finally get it all together is unrealistic.  To seek for some lasting security is futile. To undo our very ancient and very stuck habitual patterns of mind requires that we begin to turn around some of our most basic assumptions.  Believing in a solid, separate self, continuing to seek pleasure and avoid pain, thinking that someone "out there" is to blame for our pain -- one has to get totally fed up with these ways of thinking.  One has to give up hope that this way of thinking will bring us satisfaction.  Suffering begins to dissolve when we can question the belief or the hope that there's anywhere to hide."

- Pema Chodron

I bring it all to my meditation mat: the numbness, the emptiness, the anxiety, the loss, the boredom, the grief, the gratitude, the joy, the laughter, the exhaustion...without judgement.  I sit and breathe and simply honor what is going on at the moment...


Monday, June 13

what can we do to promote world peace?

        

When Mother Teresa received the Nobel Prize, she was asked, "What can we do to promote world peace?" 

She answered, "Go home and love your family."

mixed media on paper, circa 2005 

Sunday, June 12

las primeras


"Happiness is anyone and anything that is loved by you." - Charles M. Schulz

sonrisas y palabras,
las primeras a sus seis semanas 

ANGUUUUU - será palabra o simplemente sonido?

como pajarito angelical
con alma celestial 

ella se comunica conmigo telepáticamente desde que entró a mi vientre, desde que visito mis sueños 

ella se comunica con su hermano desde antes, mucho antes 

atravez de estrellas
por la luna y más allá

Melba Margarita que linda que estas...

excerpt from my journal; snapshot of my truest happiness - my children 


Saturday, June 11

the truth my sweetheart


"Nothing can shatter this love. For even if you took another into your arms, the truth is, my sweetheart, you would still be kissing me." - my beloved HAFIZ


snapshot - a corner of my world 

Friday, June 10

still a little bit of you


"still a little bit of your taste in my mouth
still a little bit of you laced with my doubt... 
still a little bit of your ghost - your witness  
still a little bit of your face I haven't kissed...  
still a little bit of your song in my ear, 
still a little bit of your words I long to hear..."
- Damien Rice


excerpt from my journals, mixed media on canvas 

Thursday, June 9

que veinte años no es nada


snapshot: my tiny waist and (100% natural) Kardashian curves, circa 1990s... 

I was in my early twenties and believed I was "chubby," when in reality my body was simply blossoming into a woman...

Today I am in my early forties, with a newborn daughter and able to rock my pre-pregnancy jeans. I may still be considered "chubby" by some standards, yet I embrace every divine curve my body offers...


snapshot: a recent selfie...I might get the courage to pose in a bikini one of these days, life is too short not to...

"Sentir, que es un soplo la vida,
que veinte años no es nada,
que febril la mirada,
errante en las sombras,
te busca y te nombra..."
- Estrella Morente


Wednesday, June 8

no estás solo, porque yo te quiero


No te rindas, aún estás a tiempo - 
De alcanzar y comenzar de nuevo, 
Aceptar tus sombras, 
Enterrar tus miedos, 
Liberar el lastre, 
Retomar el vuelo. 
No te rindas que la vida es eso,
Continuar el viaje,
Perseguir tus sueños,
Destrabar el tiempo,
Correr los escombros,
Y destapar el cielo.
No te rindas, por favor no cedas,
Aunque el frío queme,
Aunque el miedo muerda,
Aunque el sol se esconda,
Y se calle el viento,
Aún hay fuego en tu alma,
Aún hay vida en tus sueños.
Porque la vida es tuya y tuyo también el deseo,
Porque lo has querido y porque te quiero.
Porque existe el vino y el amor, es cierto.
Porque no hay heridas que no cure el tiempo.
Abrir las puertas,
Quitar los cerrojos,
Abandonar las murallas que te protegieron,
Vivir la vida y aceptar el reto,
Recuperar la risa,
Ensayar un canto,
Bajar la guardia y extender las manos,
Desplegar las alas,
E intentar de nuevo,
Celebrar la vida y retomar los cielos.
No te rindas, por favor no cedas,
Aunque el frío queme,
Aunque el miedo muerda,
Aunque el sol se ponga y se calle el viento,
Aún hay fuego en tu alma,
Aún hay vida en tus sueños.
Porque cada día es un comienzo nuevo,
Porque esta es la hora y el mejor momento.
Porque no estás solo, porque yo te quiero.


- Mario Benedetti (1920 - 2009)



Tuesday, June 7

no alternative path




"Heartbreak is unpreventable; the natural outcome of caring for people and things over which we have no control, of holding in our affections those who inevitably move beyond our line of sight.

Heartbreak begins the moment we are asked to let go but cannot, in other words, it colors and inhabits and magnifies each and every day; heartbreak is not a visitation, but a path that human beings follow through even the most average life. Heartbreak is an indication of our sincerity: in a love relationship, in a life’s work, in trying to learn a musical instrument, in the attempt to shape a better more generous self. Heartbreak is the beautifully helpless side of love and affection and is just as much an essence and emblem of care as the spiritual athlete’s quick but abstract ability to let go. Heartbreak has its own way of inhabiting time and its own beautiful and trying patience in coming and going.

Heartbreak is how we mature; yet we use the word heartbreak as if it only occurs when things have gone wrong: an unrequited love, a shattered dream, a child lost before their time. Heartbreak, we hope, is something we hope we can avoid; something to guard against, a chasm to be carefully looked for and then walked around; the hope is to find a way to place our feet where the elemental forces of life will keep us in the manner to which we want to be accustomed and which will keep us from the losses that all other human beings have experienced without exception since the beginning of conscious time. But heartbreak may be the very essence of being human, of being on the journey from here to there, and of coming to care deeply for what we find along the way.

…If heartbreak is inevitable and inescapable, it might be asking us to look for it and make friends with it, to see it as our constant and instructive companion, and even perhaps, in the depth of its impact as well as in its hindsight, to see it as its own reward. Heartbreak asks us not to look for an alternative path, because there is no alternative path. It is a deeper introduction to what we love and have loved, an inescapable and often beautiful question, something or someone who has been with us all along, asking us to be ready for the last letting go."

- David Whyte

excerpt  from CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words



Monday, June 6

to enter your sleep


"I would like to watch you sleeping, 
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you, 
sleeping. I would like to sleep 
with you, to enter 
your sleep as its smooth dark wave 
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent 
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves 
with its watery sun and three moons 
towards the cave where you must descend, 
towards your worst fear.

I would like to give you the silver 
branch, the small white flower, the one 
word that will protect you 
from the grief at the center 
of your dream, from the grief 
at the center. I would like to follow 
you up the long stairway 
again and become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands 
to where your body lies 
beside me, and you enter 
it as easily as breathing in.

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
and that necessary."
- Margaret Atwood

unnoticed and necessary...
air...breath...yes...to enter your dreams

Sunday, June 5

ironía del destino


"Yo te miro, se me corta la respiración
Cuanto tu me miras se me sube el corazón 
me palpita lento el corazón 
Y en silencio tu mirada dice mil palabras 

La noche en la que te suplico que no salga el sol...

Tu cuerpo y el mio llenando el vacío 
Subiendo y bajando...
Ese fuego por dentro me esta enloqueciendo,
Me va saturando

Con tu física y tu química también tu anatomía
La cerveza y el tequila y tu boca con la mía
Ya no puedo mas 
Ya no puedo mas 
Con esta melodía, tu color, tu fantasía
Con tu filosofía mi cabeza esta vacía
Y ya no puedo mas 
Ya no puedo mas 

Yo quiero estar contigo, vivir contigo
Bailar contigo, tener contigo
Una noche loca 
Ay besar tu boca 
Yo quiero estar contigo, vivir contigo
Bailar contigo, 
tener contigo una noche loca con tremenda loca

Tu me miras y me llevas a otra dimensión 
estoy en otra dimensión
Tu latidos aceleran a mi corazón,
Que ironía del destino no poder tocarte
Abrazarte y sentir la magia de tu olor...

Bailando amor, es que se me va el dolor..."
- Enrique Iglesias 

snapshot of my sweaty shoulder after dancing...grateful I am able to begin sweating my prayers again 5 weeks after delivering my daughter 


Saturday, June 4

dreams


- a tiny corner of my world -
He asked me how I kept my dreams alive...

I give my dreams time and room to grow, stretch and develop. I go for walks and contemplate the sacredness of a stone, the miracle of a wildflower. I dance and dream. I laugh and cry with my dreams. My dreams keep me alive...truly alive...my dreams nourish and sustain me.

excerpt from one of my journals, originally posted in 2010l

Friday, June 3

beautiful souvenirs...is that all that is left?


"I can't spend time with people that I don't enjoy. I can't do it anymore as theater. I make choices, and that's a beautiful thing about growing up, learning to say no. In a nice way, but you say no...

...I have this friend of mine...And we, you know, we parted. We just went different ways in our lives.

Once he came back to me, he said, '...you don't like me anymore.'

And I said:
'No, it's not that I don't like you. We've chosen different styles of life. I still have these beautiful souvenirs of all the things we did together and how close we were and so on. But the truth is, it's not that you bore me, but I don't enjoy talking to you anymore. And I don't want to fight with you, but you know...there's nothing in common between your life and mine nowadays.'

...I said the truth...growing up has a bit to do with that, to be able to tell the truth, to show who you are even if it hurts."
- Francis Mallmann


Thursday, June 2

no me tientes


"Paso que pasa -
rostro que pasabas -
que más quieres -
te miro -
después me olvidare -
después y sólo -
sólo y después -
seguro que me olvido.

Paso que pasas -
rostro que pasabas -
que más quieres -
te quiero -
te quiero sólo dos -
o tres minutos -
para quererte más -
no tengo tiempo.

Paso que pasas -
rostro que pasabas -
ay no -
ay no me tientes -
que sí nos tentamos -
no nos podremos olvidar -
adiós."
- Mario Benedetti 




Wednesday, June 1

ego doesn't want to lose strength


"How wonderful to go beyond wanting and fearing in your relationships. Love does not want or fear anything.


If her past were your past, her pain your pain, her level of consciousness your level of consciousness, you would think and act exactly as she does. With this realization comes forgiveness, compassion, peace.


The ego doesn't like to hear this, because if it cannot be reactive and righteous anymore, it will lose strength.


When you receive whoever comes into the space of Now as a noble guest, when you allow each person to be as they are, they begin to change."


- Eckhart Tolle


snapshot - yes, I love to doodle everywhere