I Dream of Frida
January 1st, 2016, I woke up and said, "I just had dinner with Frida." I had woken up from one of the most vivid dreams I have ever had.
In my dream, I walked into a dimly lit restaurant. The hostess asked, "How many?" I replied, "Two. I'm having dinner with Frida Kahlo." She gave me an "I don't care" half smile and grabbed two menus as she walked me to white cloth covered table with a small candle at the center. I stared at the flame as I waited. In walks Frida. She wore a colorful linen dress with a white shawl draped over her shoulders. Her hair was up in a braided bun and on her ears dangled a pair of bold brass chandelier earrings. She looked like an older, gray streaked hair version of the photos which have become so familiar to me. She also looked like my mother, Violeta. We looked at each other and smiled. I stood and gave her a tight hug. She smelled like fresh soil and Santal 33, with a little bit of sandalwood mixed in. We sat and looked at each other warmly. It was as if I was meeting a family member which I had heard stories about since I was a child, but had not met in person. You know the feeling you have when you meet a distant cousin who you've only seen in family photos and videos? It was that same comforting familiarity. We continued to smile and then mutually reached out across the table and held hands. She squeezed my hand intermittently, the way my mom does.
I feel like I have always known about Frida Kahlo. I remember my aunt Sylvia and uncle Mario having Diego Rivera's The Flower Carrier print displayed in their home. My mother talked to me about Frida and how unique she was. I remember seeing one of her self portraits and stroking my own thick eyebrows, then looking at the hair on my arms. Yes, I have hairy arms, as seen in the photo above and in my "Taco Bracelet" picture. I have only shaved my arms once and it was because I was made fun of in school. I shaved a tiny rectangle into my arm and thought, "No, this is stupid. I will not shave my whole life. I'm hairy and that's it."
Role models are invaluable. As a woman, it is so important to have strong women to look up to. As a Hispanic woman, it is especially important for me to have strong Hispanic/Latina women to admire. Representation matters because it gives a person a special kind of confidence when they can say, "Hey, they look like me." I have been blessed with so many role models and women who are unapologetically themselves. There are many reasons why I have been such a Frida lover. Is there anyone in your life that inspires you in this way? If there isn't, I encourage you to find someone, even if it is a historic figure.
I look forward to interviewing some of my favorite women in the Sunday Stamping section of my blog, which will be coming soon. One of the things I am looking forward to is creating a playlist for each guest. If we're close, I've most likely made you a playlist or at least told you about a song that reminds me of you. If you've known me long enough, I may have even made you a mixtape or have handed you a cd with a sloppy Sharpie written title like, "Help, my iPod broke" or "Forget that Jerk."
I have created a playlist of songs and artists I feel Frida would love if she were alive today.