La Sirena: A collection of words and photos
July 7th – September 29th, 2014
Opening Reception July 7th, 7pm – 10pm
Lucky Luna Restaurant and Bar, 167 Nassau Ave., BK 11222
La Abuela was magnificently named. In many cultures the only women who aren’t identified as gifts of sensual pleasure and desire are the old ones, the ones who are no longer pleasing to the eye. Because of fallen skin covering once lush curves they resemble dried up flowers and no longer arouse us. We don’t want to smell the soft necks of wilted tulips or run our fingers over crispy hydrangeas – nothing about a wilted, dried up flower appeals to the senses but we still respect these flowers because they remind us of certain truths – their age and lack of moisture tells a story of a moment or an emotion we were unable to express.
La Abuela was different, she was an enigma, she was given the name “The Grandmother” inciting the idea that she was more than the wise, wilted, orchid storyteller but she was all the wise, wilted, orchid storyteller’s: the bird of paradise, the bougainvillea, the daffodil, the rose and the peony. She was given this name before her skin fell, before her hair greyed and before her walk lost the same flavor as her eyes – the flavor of desire, passion and the hunt. Men treated her as if she birthed them, pausing in her presence to ponder the confusion of lust and maternal love.
La Abuela was granted a passage in-between worlds.
La Abuela spoke to her sisters in metaphors and made the English language sound like a poem.
“You are 100 petals without a stem to hold you, without soil to keep you in place. The wind divides you and the sun changes the color of your complexion giving you a different name each day: begonia, carmelitilla, aguilena.” She whispered their names softly paying homage to a goddess.
“First you must trust the people. Their lives and their places will bring you pedals again. Then, you will go in search of a stem – you only find a stem by looking mi hermana.” When she called me her sister I felt the pleasure of a little girl with fruit dripping from her mouth and hands.
“In some countries a woman who rebels is referred to as La Puta, in other countries she is called La Sirena – an individual, a rebel who cannot be chained by the shackles of tradition.”