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December 2009
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February 2010

January 2010

The Story of my Dad and I (The End)

D99 

But a real miracle happened! My Dad recovered from the surgery and the infection. He lost a lot of weight but the Dr. said that there was no cancer or anything to worry about. He just needed to take care of himself and everything was going to be fine. THANK GOD! Dad took his plane to Miami, Florida and finally, we were able to celebrate his arrival. I had never been more excited about seeing my Dad. Ever since he arrived here in the USA I felt like the little 8-year-old girl who used to wait for him everyday at home. A part of me had missed him so much for so long. 

D1010 

30 years later my Dad and I have found each other in a wonderful place. We're both adults now, we're both parents and we both know lots of things that we din't know before. I am now a better daughter and he's now a better Father. The most important lesson that we have both learned in all these years is that love doesn't die. True and deep love is something amazing and tough that nobody can kill. My Dad planted the seed of love in me when I was a little person. He left a deep mark in my life when I was a little girl and that little mark, that little seed waited patiently for the good weather, for water and sunshine to sprout. That little seed has quickly turned into a beautiful plant with flowers and fruits.

Since my Dad arrived here in LA I have been treating him like a living treasure. At almost 73 now he's still lots of fun and makes me laugh all the time. We share the same sense of humor and a very similar positive view of life. I can't even tell you how grateful I am to have him right here next to me for the longest time that we have ever spent together. 

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Now, let's imagine that I'm able to go back in time being the adult that I am today so I could talk with my Dad and Mom, as a friend. This is what I would say:

PLEASE, listen: As painful as this divorce is for both of you, you have to take a minute and think about the way your children are experiencing all of this. Their pain is different to your pain, you don't like each other right now (no matter what the reasons are) but they LOVE and NEED BOTH of you. Time is going to pass by, things are going to change, they're going to grow up and the divorce will be something from the past but the damage is always going to be there in your children's hearts. If you think about the future now maybe you could do things differently. Mom, tell your children that their Dad loves them deeply no matter what. Dad, tell your children that their Mom loves them deeply too. Make a great effort to separate your own personal feelings from your children's feelings. They deserve that effort, I know that it's hard but that effort will make a huge difference in their lives, I can tell you this from my own experience.

Love and peace to all!

Elsita :)


The Story of my Dad and I (part 3)

D77

And that's exactly what happened, I kept growing up and getting more and more mature. Bill and I fell in love and I got married. I became a stepmother to Miro and then I became a Mother to Natalie and Diego. This finally helped me understand what being a parent really was. The more I thought about how important my children are for me the more I understood how important I was for my Dad and how important he was for me. My dream was to visit Cuba so our children could meet their Grandpa for the first time. The visit took place in 2006 and it was magic. Natalie and Diego fell in love with my Dad, with his sense of humor and his happy personality. They never saw him as a stranger, from day number one. 

D88 

But then we had to come back to the USA and the distance kept us apart again. Cuba and the USA have had a bad relationship since the Cuban Revolution in 1959 so it's extremely difficult to have a normal communication with your relatives in the island. The time that we spent with my Dad in 2006 was extremely important but kids grow so fast, it's hard for them to remember people who don't interact with them often. My Dad applied for a visa to visit the USA but the visa was denied. That was so painful. Now that I was ready to open up my heart to my Dad completely we weren't able to see each other. My brother Alex sent a second invitation and fortunately that time the visa was aproved. But a day before his flight Dad had to cancel his trip and go to the hospital instead where he had an urgent surgery. It was a nightmare. My brother Alex and I thought that my Dad wasn't going to make it, due to an infection that he had gotten after the surgery. I couldn't sleep well during those dark days, as you can imagine.

(I will publish the last post about this story tomorrow) 


The Story of my Dad and I (part 2)

D44

My Dad became a distant figure during the time when I became a teenager. Not because he wanted to, but because I did everything to stay away from him and from the rest of the adults in my family. I was growing up and trying to be an adult myself, I was trying to figure out how to be a woman at the age of 15. That's when I moved to another province with my first official boyfriend because I wanted to start a life on my own. 

D55 

I soon learned many lessons about relationships. I learned about non-compatible personalities and about braking up and about being unhappy and needing to move on and about starting over again. The more I experienced life the more I thought about my Dad and Mom and the more clear it became to me why they couldn't stay together. My relationships with men were always long. Instead of separating as soon as something didn't work I stayed committed to make things work. This was hard but good at the same time because little by little life was answering all those questions that I had asked  myself when I was a little girl.

D66 

I became a real woman in the process of growing up and then it was a lot easier for me to understand the meaning of divorce because I experience it myself, after 6 years of marriage. 

During that time my Dad visited me, I was living in Havana back then, in my own apartment. His visit was an important one. We spent a few days talking and trying to go back to those times when he couldn't even talk about why we had to go away. I felt closer to him but I still had the shadow of my Mom's words and all the things that she used to say about him all the time. It was like a subtle poison that had taken over some part of my brain. I desperately wanted to love my Dad again with all my heart but I couldn't. 

I had no idea that in order to get there I still had to grow up a lot more. We can't really consider ourselves grownups until we're able to see beyond our parents' ideas and points of views. It takes a while for us to find out who we really are and what we REALLY think about things, about everything.

(I will continue tomorrow)

 

The Story of my Dad and I (part 1)

D11

When I was a little girl growing up in Cuba I adored my Dad. He was the most important man in my life. Dad was always in a good mood, making jokes, singing, doing his little dancing moves. I have the most wonderful memories about him. He was gentle and sensitive and his dream was for everyone to get along in our family. Dad suffered a lot when my sister Ileana had to go through her crisis (Zchizophrenia). Dad was peaceful, equilibrated and he did everything to make other people happy. He was a very important figure in the first 8 years on my life.

D22 

Then, on October 25th of 1979 my Dad left our nest. I was too young to understand why he was flying away. All I knew was that I was confused and devastated. No more morning hugs for me, no more cute nicknames and jokes and singing and little dancing. Why was all that happening? It's called: adult's world. I am pretty familiar with it now that I'm an adult myself but as a little girl all I could do was ask myself questions that adults wouldn't answer for me back then.

D33 

I stopped being a little girl too soon. Maybe because instead of playing around like everybody else I spent lots of time trying to figure out things. I wanted to understand the secret world of adults and why it was so complicated. 

I (as well as my siblings) kept seeing my Dad from time to time. He found different ways to make it happen but my Mom was not happy about it. I will never forget the day when he came to my school. We were in the middle of a class when I was asked to go outside because my Dad had come to see me. He had lost a considerable amount of weight. Dad put a tiny present in my hand, it was a plastic red bow barrette. All I remember is how he couldn't talk, instead he cried and cried without saying a word... But his tears talked to me in a deep way. I knew that he loved me with all his heart. I didn't cry because I felt that I had to be the strong one, I gave him a tight hug and after a few minutes we say good-bye. I told him not to worry because very soon he was going to feel better. 

(I will continue tomorrow)

 

Hola Amigos! :)

Yay! I am back with a huge smile on my face :) Because I'm the happiest girl on Planet Earth. My Dad is visiting and as I told you before  he will spend 3 glorious months with us here in LA. I can't even tell you how much this means to me. I will tell you the story about my Dad and I in a few short posts, starting tomorrow so you can understand what I mean. All I can say right now is that we're re-connecting after 30 loooooong years! Can you believe it? 

Smile
 
 On the other hand I'm honored to be part of a wonderful group of artists/bloggers over at Poppytalk.blogspot.com. Poppytalk.blogspot.com, with the help of readers from around the world has selected different groups of creative people labeled under categories. If you want to vote for your favorite artist/blogger just click here, I'm in that category under my name: Elsa Mora. As Jan and Earl wrote in their e-mail announcing their Poppy Award: "...It's not intended to be a competition as much as to bring more awareness to the handmade community". In the end we should never take popularity contests too seriously (I always tell this to Natalie). Popularity is something tricky :o My Dad wasn't a popular guy in my family a long time ago... and now he's my hero.

Happy Monday!

Elsita :)


My Sweet Ceramic Soap Dish

Soap dish

Soap
 

I am so excited to show you my little soap dish! After painting the mug using only black I felt like enjoying a little explosion of color in his piece.

Soap dish detail 

I am sure that I will keep painting new objects next time when we go up to the mountains. I will start a little collection. They will be all functional objects for our home. 

Soap dish detail 1 

I was so happy to see that you liked my mug! Yay! Thank you so much for all the comments the other day :) About the questions: yes, I painted it (as well as this soap dish) using mostly a very thin brush loaded with lots of pigment, that's why the detail is great. I would really love to create ceramics like these for my Etsy store. In order to do that myself I need a kiln and some space only for ceramic but my studio is soooo full of things already! I will explore other alternatives anyway.

On the other hand I am now trying to see how I can style my hair like the girl in my soap dish. I could make a headband with a little tree on top and add a bird to it so the landscape is perfect. Yay!! :o

Happy Monday!

Elsita :)

 

 


 

Your Home

You are your own home 

 I started thinking about the idea written on this drawing many years ago and the older I get the more I like it. I clearly remember the time when I didn't have a decent home to live in. It was 1989 and I had moved to a new province (in Cuba)  with my then boyfriend. The two of us were living in something that you could call a room, but not too long before we moved in there, the place was literally a pig's home (a four-legged pig with a curly tail and everything).

I cleaned up the place the best I could, with lots of water, but the stubborn pig perfume refused to go away. That was the time when I started developing this idea in my mind: YOU ARE YOUR OWN HOME. It was my way to scape a miserable situation and It worked out great. I spent my nights drawing in that tiny space and dreaming while my boyfriend was away working in a different town. I remember that I started creating some "cute" skull pendants made out of plaster painted with tiny beautiful flowers and birdies. I sold them to my friends at school, specially to the ballet students, they were a big hit and the little money helped me survive. 

After all those years I am back revisiting that time in my life because I feel really sad about some friends that are loosing their houses here in the USA. I really know how it feels when you don't have the security that a home gives you. But I also know that the most important home that we have is ourselves. That's the home that we cannot afford to lose.

I think that the world is what we see, what we feel and what we believe in. Reality is something that we design ourselves, regardless of how the material part of our life is. I know people that have everything and are not happy, that tells you that the material side of life doesn't define you or how happy you are. Reality is something deeper, something personal. And at the same time it is the most universal thing.

On the other hand, developing our inner world is not about isolation but the opposite. It's about opening ourselves up to what's out there: people, nature, new experiences... The more open we are to exploring and learning, the more our own world/home will expand, providing us with a huge space where we will be able to move freely. It's important not to isolate ourselves in the middle of crisis. 

Building a strong inner world one brick at a time is in my opinion the most important way for us to overcome any obstacle. 

I wish everyone who's struggling right now lots of strength!

(Things will get better)

Elsita :)


My Very Special Mug :)

My Red Ridding Hood Cup

Yay! I am so excited about this mug! It looks small but it's pretty large. I painted it myself in a wonderful place up in the mountains where you can paint your own ceramic. I love that place! You paint your piece, leave it there over night for the firing process and then pick it up next day.

Detail 

This was the first piece that I painted but then I went back with Natalie and painted a second one: a colorful soap dish. Natalie painted a snowman the first time and a small dish the second time, both of them stayed in our cabin for decoration, but I decided to bring mine to LA.

I will be blogging about the soap dish as soon as I take photos of it. I wish that I could do this kind of work often. I dream about having my own ceramic kiln one day. Yay!!

Elsita :)


 

Everything in Moderation :)

Moderation 

The number one word that I am going to keep in mind this year is: Moderation. 

To me, moderation is the result of something deep that we need to master and that something deep has a lot to do with being wise. On the other hand being wise is the art of thinking and acting in harmony. All this sounds a little complicated but it's pretty simple. In a few words: Let's use our minds better. Let's not be like a ball rolling down the hill.

This is another example: Imagine that life is like a big pot of soup with one million ingredients in it. The idea is to learn how to cook that soup without putting too much of this or that ingredient. If we are moderate and combine all the ingredients wisely and creatively then we will enjoy a delicious soup in the end.

I am so committed to this idea that I even bought a little meditation chair online. I want to find a place at home where I can dedicate a few minutes a day to meditate and get in touch with myself. The very idea makes me happy. This year I will be searching for my peaceful inner spot. And I will share that journey with you here :) 

Lots of love and happy Monday!

Elsita :)