Monday, November 09, 2009

La Esperanza (the hope)

The hurricane had sucked out all the breeze, which meant it was perfect for me to photograph my little purses on Tia Ilna’s seaside bench. Bigness, being the baby of the family, Ilna is an older sister, along with Ophelia, Ester and Isabel. It is my favorite place to photograph, but you have to time it just right, the sun canting to the west, a slice of sunlight between the palm branches and the beautiful afternoon golden light streams through. I can feel the light when it is right, and it only lasts about a ½ hour. I have to move fast to get all the shots in today because I am leaving Caye Caulker to go back to Chetumal Mexico. My wedding photography jobs are done and I am headed back to what feels like home now.

I dump the purses out onto the bench, here sits three weeks of work Three whole weeks. I wonder to myself, how much they will sell for at Pretty Ethnic and Belizean Arts in San Pedro. I can only make about 2 a day, and there is no way I can charge for my time. I am competing with mass produced, imported bags from Bali, China and Guatemala. I hope that people can see that they are one-of-a-kind hand beaded on hand painted silk. Truly original, wearable art. I hope, they read the tag which tells them that they can hand wash them, that they are fair trade products. I hope a fancy designer from New York buys some and decides to use them as inspiration for their next collection, and credits me. I also hope that my mother remembers that I am her only daughter.

The funny thing about growing old, is that nothing really changes, we just become more of who we are, softer or stiffer. I hope that Age will soften me.

In February, when my mother visited I found out a couple of new things about her. I found out that when she was a teenager she wanted to play the base violin, not with the bow, but to pluck it and play in a jazz band. He mother made her play the piano, she hated it and wasted the lessons. As a girl, I studied classical piano, or rather tolerated it. I loved the piano, but quit the lessons at age 16 because I just wanted to play like Elton John circa 1976. I can still read a little music, and play every so often, not often enough to keep unrusty though.

I found out that my mother had had a pregnancy before my oldest brother who was born 2 years after my parents married at the ages of 16 and 18.

I found out that the older I get the more like my father I become. Introverted, cerebral, needing a lot of time, brain space, can’t be rushed, quiet. I read the i

nstruction booklet before I start. My mother, who should be my biggest fan, isn’t. And it has always puzzled me. I am not a drug addict, or bank robber, or prostitute. I am just a girl following her dream, wherever it takes

her. My mother doesn’t approve of me. I don’t fit tightly into the box my she wants me in. I’ve tried it, it doesn’t fit me.

It was the quietness of this year, the year I quit my life in Belize, that I had enough head space to create new things. And many new things were created. So, now that I am talking about it again, I will share these new things with you, a little bit at a time.


Caribbean Colors said...

I want to thank everyone for continuing to email me during my "year of silence" Even though I didn't respond, it meant a lot to me for you to remember and encourage me.

Guyana-Gyal said...

I for one missed reading your writings, musings, stories.

Mother-daughter relationships can be difficult and not much talked about. I haven't read many novels or seen many movies with this theme.

Your purses are adorable. I hope they sell.

Hayden said...

Glad to see you back, Lee! Your purses are beautiful.... they should make a girl feel very special, whisper dreams in her ear.