This week I started re-watching Damages. I first watched this show a few years back. I was hooked yet again. One character tells another, “You’re only as happy as your saddest child.” I thought of two things. First, I thought of Mama. She internalizes any of her children’s unhappiness. Since I don’t have kids, I can’t even pretend to imagine or understand. It brings me to my second thought. Since I don’t have children, where does my happiness depend on? Am I as happy as myself? If there is sadness, how do I deal with it?
The past couple of months haven’t been easy, but I’m managing. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t answer the happiness question with a yes. It’s weird. For almost 44 years of life, I would have answered YES! No question about it. Now I wonder how to change this NO into a YES. Looking back I could tell that doing my art was a reflection of where I stood on life, on happiness. When I painted there was joy. Now, I ‘m doing so much of it and it’s not equivalent.
The piece here is titled “Mama La Nina.” It’s a portrait of my mother. It’s the first photograph we have of her almost 74 years of life. Was she happy before she had any of her 5 children? I wonder. She calls us her vitamins, her vitamins. I love this. It’s like we nourish her spirit.
If we are without children, how do we nourish ourselves? Where do we turn to? Is it by adopting the world as our children? If our world feels damaged, how do we feel any different? I realize that I can’t carry the world problems on my shoulders, but somehow I feel like I do. The self-help books may say to look inward, but it doesn’t always help. I’m doing my best.
Andre Agassi’s coach once told him, “Stand on my shoulders and reach for the stars.” I would love this for myself and for everyone. What if we all stood on each other shoulders, how many stars can we reach.
Have a beautiful weekend.