On Motherhood & Sanity


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Alternative theater festival, final poster


This is the one they decided on. If you look closely the poster in the garbage is the one from the festival, which has another poster in the garbage from the festival, and so on ....

It was a lot of work - working with broken glass and mixing colour with B/W, a lot of stuff had to be photoshopped out....not sure it shows!

Monday, December 14, 2009

alternative theater festival

a recent comission was to come up with an image for an alternative theater festival in the south of Spain. I liked this because it was a bit of a nonesense "escher" kind of thing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

on staying sane and other mysteries of motherhood


My mother likes to say that mother hood is not a sprint sport, but a marathon. She says this so that we try to think long term. So that we try not to get too overwhelmed on the bad days. But sometimes, knowing that this will never end (ok, it will, just not in then next 25 years or so), is its own source of stress.

I quit my job because I wanted to be present in my children’s lives. So when I have a bad mommy day, the guilt piles on. There are days when this “job” is so rewarding. When it feels so right. When you are so glad to be able to have the time, the mental space and the freedom and flexibility. But then there are days when you just feel like a total fake. I’m not working. I’m not earning my keep. And I’m also not being a good mother.

So what is a good mother? Hell if I know. How much patience makes for a good mother, how much is spoiling, how much is neglect? These are the questions I struggle with every day. There is no answer out there. As an intellectual I opt for reading. During the first years I read every book in sight. Recently, I have gone back to reading novels and books on things that are about me and what I do. So again comes the guilt. I’m not doing my job right.

I’ve recently decided to divide my time in three: 33% for being a mommy, 33% for paid and recognised work, and the last 33% to write my book and take my photos. There is of course the flaw that there is not time designated there for my partner. Maybe I could sneak him in the first bit as “dada” but the truth is that I use a lot of the time for myself as well. That is another one of the problems.

I am a relatively independent person and somewhat of a loner. At least I used to be, before I would have company even to go to the toilet. (although I put my foot down at pooping in company, no matter how good that company is). So when the kids go to bed, and after dinner with my husband, the only time of the day we have together, the house becomes quiet, everyone is in bed, and my castle is once again my kingdom.

It doesn’t matter how tired I am, I am unable to give this time up. It is MY time, alone, when nobody questions what I am doing, what I am eating, its just me and the silence. I am able to stretch this time quite a bit, into the early hours. Sometimes I get some work done, but the truth is that usually I am too tired to be of any use, so I turn the TV on, and watch crap, and I love watching this crap. And I really savour these moments. Except, then the wake up call arrives between 5 and 6 am. Early rise, assuming nobody got sick or missed mommy during the night. One or two midnight awakenings are a norm, so in short, after a few years of this, I am a wreck. I am so tired I cant seem to get anything done day or night. Which makes for a pretty bad mommy and a pretty bad artist, the only thing that gets done is paid work. I guess just like society, I value that more. Maybe not value, but clearly, I respect it more. There is a deadline, there are consequence if you are not ready, not done in time. So it gets done. Everything else can wait. The kids always get their fair share too. It just never feels like its enough because they always want more. Actually, I am pretty sure that the more time I spend with them the more the cry (literally) for more.

So here I am, trying to be good at some thing, trying to focus my life again. To get back on track.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Khartoum, The Sudan

July 5 2009,

A sand storm makes the windows whistle loudly. Even inside the apartment my eyes get full of dust if I stand too close to a window. You can look straight at the sun, the red sky and a perfectly round white ball stares back. People walk in the streets below while the trees shake. It is 40 degrees, sunny and dusty in Khartoum.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

photo from our farewell

the problem is... we think we've got time

yesterday I attended my first Reiki event. Essentially a Reiki orgy..... a bunch of Reiki people that come together to give each other treatments and think about the reiki principles. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I got to blind-pick a principle, and it asked if I get enough rest. Freaky how appropriate that question was given that I certainly DO NOT, and cannot, and don't know how.... unfortunately I fell asleep during my treatment so did not do much thinking.

the jury is still out on that one. I came home to a somber g who greeted me with the old and feared opening  "I have bad news" and proceeded to tell me that my 44-year-old cousin, the one who after years of struggling economically was finally making money and excited with his work. The one who after a long childless marriage that ended in divorce was soon to be wed again. The one that had been left to father his younger siblings after their own parent's divorce, and his father's subsequent disappearance from the family. He had died. Car crash. Gone on impact. Shortly after breakfast. Nothing to do.

I called my mother, she was in shock. Disbelief. I called his family. They live in Lima, he lived in Mexico, and and so on top of everything they now have to deal with the logistics of bringing his body home. It dawned on me as my cousin picked up the phone on the other end... I had nothing to say. What on earth can you say?

It seems senseless. It seems absurd. We are all overwhelmed with this sense of having been told a bad joke. One that could not possibly be. As we are all scattered  around; Peru, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain... the phones kept ringing well into the night. it did not get any easier. it did not get any more real.  We struggled with stupid things like wanting to share our feeling in facebook, and not finding a way to do so. I thought of my aunt. I selfishly kept repeating to myself " que dios me libre" (may god spare me)....

Today is my sister's birthday. It must be celebrated. It is a sad day in our family. but more the reason to celebrate life. to celebrate every moment. to celebrate how lucky we are to have health and our loved ones. 

so today we are in mourning. I will mourn three days. why? because I need a ritual, I need a path to follow. I wish our culture had more "instructions" to deal with death. Other cultures accept death much more as part of life.  Which seems logical given that we are all dying every day (some days more than others). In Chinese New Year they place an empty seat at the table for the ancestors. OK, so it is done to keep their wrath away, but I have decided to celebrate Chinese New Year every year as a way to honor my ancestors. A day to remember. Just like father’s day, mother’s day or Christmas. this will be family day. for those gone to join us and do what we Mediterranean do best: eat.

 Sotoday  I will take the children to the park, to a lake, to something beautiful. something that will be there no matter what. I will not explain death to them. They never met my cousin, it would be impossible for them to understand. But I will talk about life. I will talk about love. I will talk about giving thanks. I will talk about making good use of our time. The importance of honoring our lives, and with it, those who are no longer with us. That will be my farewell to my cousin, whom I had not seen in such a long time. we will make our own ritual, we will throw flowers into the water for him, for his journey. 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Snaefells glacier, Iceland


just came back from the most amazing wedding plus ceremony on the top of Snaefells glacier. it really would be hard to compete, so glad am already married! after a more traditional religious wedding (perked up with live singing from both the bride with the assist of a piano, and the groom with his quartet... which included the priest), followed by a stroll of the entire wedding party from the church to the drink garden, by the lake, with flame throwers and bubble throwers (can you call them that?).


a more traditional icelandic dinner affair which included calf's brain and whale, and hours of speaches (what an absolutely poetic and musical language!) and a grand finale of a more spiritual and non denominational ceremony that saluted the earth, and that invited all those present to unite their female and male parts (ying and yang), to say their vows, to let go, to unite, all of this on top of the Snaefells glacier, supposedly one of the 6 energy points of the earth. a most spectacular finale

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

and we are back

it's been a while, not sure about this blogging thing but giving it another go. here is a new series which came to life on all its own. I was practicing some new learnt photoshop skills when one happened, then another, then another.... don't even know what to call it yet, but I like eet!







Friday, March 13, 2009

yohari's window

this is from the last photo shoot for the Yohari's Windows project.

esta foto quedo preciosa, mamita linda!