frida kahlo

Self portrait with Chopped hair.

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We grow our hair like weeds for people that will never love us. To later chop off all the dead weight, once they leave us. This time, I wanted to do the leaving. I wanted to cut the man at the source, and resort to every dramatic episode I could think of. Because it was never his choice. It was my choice, my decision, and it was my turn to leave this time.

If you cut your hair, I will leave you.

How I watched every strand of hair grow to the middle of my back. How happy he seemed as he ran his fingers through it, paid no mind to the person before him. It’s when I think I have him, that he leaves without notice. His ghost that trails behind then lingers once he leaves. It’s when I think I have won, that I have lost everything before me.

When you believe you love someone, you’ll fall for anything. Even something simple as leaving every strand of hair on your head, just as they like it. I loved him, from the deep parts of my soul, to every long strand of hair that fell across my back. I watched as my hair became my shield, my armor from the world. My way of hiding these feelings of doubts and worries. My hair continued to grow into a tangled, tousled, mess. I continued to listen to his threats, as empty as the love he gave me. No matter how long my hair grew, he never came back.

Frida Kahlo - Self Portrait with Cropped Hair - 1943

I wanted him back for all the superficial reasons I hated. I wanted to stop this numbing suffocated feeling of being alone that drugs nor alcohol could fill. My hair continued to grow and I continued to wait. He said I was perfect and to never change. If I cut my hair, he would only leave me. He would never come back. And I continued to wait. Until the weight of my hair became the weight of my worries. Until my hair became heavy, that I could no longer hold my head up to the sky. We do these foolish things for love but at what cost does it love us back? At what cost do people understand that we are people underneath all that hair? That our hair doesn’t make you love us any less. There were days I wanted to rip every strand from my head. Tear apart the existence of what I believed he wanted. Because for a brief moment I was perfect to you, don’t I ever think of changing.

I watch as the strands of hair fall to the ground. Inch by inch. The memories of you and the ghosts before you. If you cut your hair, I will leave you.  I try to keep myself composed. Hold the tears back. Love was never what held us together. The strands of dead hair that laid before my feet; bear witness to this change that comes over me. I am more exposed to the world without my shield. I am showing the world who I really am, beneath the hair.

 

When the final strand of hair falls, I will forget you. Someone will come in and sweep away the memories scattered on the floor. It won’t be me this time. For the first time, I have stopped listening to ghosts.

 

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My dress it hangs there.

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Life has a funny way of imitating art. Which is why I find myself loving so many photographs, paintings, and writings of everything. Art has a way of captivating you deep down into your soul. Pulling something out of you that at times you forget you still had. I think of how much my life has changed and yet, I find myself so in touch with the past. How things from our present find ways to remind us of things from years prior.

Its when I think of the past that it reminds of me of the dress. The last dress I purchased that held so much promise of color and new beginnings. How the colors so different found a way to compliment each other. I think of the last moments I wore that dress, and how after so many years the image of that dress never seems to escape me. It continues to remind me of a halfway point. The point between here and there, never fully grasping the concept of being home. Home was where I was suppose to want to be, but being in between here and there I never understood. It took a while to get myself to pick up the dress and find it a home. Because keeping it stationary meant that it would last forever in that in-between places. That seeing it day after day and how it would just hang there for the world to see. Hang there for me to one day come to conclusion that this was home again. It was my own fear of returning home and counting my losses. My own fear of seeing my life for what it was, and not some in-between place journey but coming home to pick at my scabs and start over. The dress it just hung there, waiting, patiently to be put away.

It’s been months since I’ve put the dress away. Months since I’ve worn and seen the dress. Still the image of the dress hanging between rooms, doesn’t seem to escape me. It sits waiting patiently to be put away. I think of it as the last of the decades of leaving. The last escape of this godforsaken town. But still even months after it’s been put away, I can still see it. I see the blue, green, and navy. I see the image of the dress just swaying back and forth with the life surrounding it. I see how much I loved that dress when I purchased it, I see how I couldn’t wait to never see it again.

Art has a funny way of imitating life. I can sit and stare at a painting of a dress hanging between the chaos of New York, and still think of that dress. How the dress just hung in-between here and there. How much I wished for the dress to be leaving to far off distant places and instead watched it be buried to the back of the closet. Still that image beckons to me, haunts me. I watch the life of the dress disappear into the dark mysteries of life. Waiting, patiently for the day to reappear. Waiting for the day to be brought back to life. I just can’t bring myself to wear that dress but its memory still haunts my mind from time to time. On the days when I feel like I am in-between places. I’ll never know where I am going but I know eventually I will leave this place and with me that dress will join me. Maybe soon.

But still it waits.

Patiently.

4/14/2012

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What the water gave me.

When I was younger, I always believed that water had a super power. Water had the ability to wash everything away. Wash away your tears, your fears, and any indication of negativity. Every terrible emotion you had could be washed away, the second the water touched you. It was with it’s magical healing powers that everything washed away. Maybe I was completely naive but when you felt this hole in your heart, you wanted to believe it was true. That something so pure could wash away all the impurities in your life. Within seconds all the tears would disappear, into the mass of water never to be seen again.

Even years later, I still believe that.

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Water became this magic eraser for everything. It washed the slates of my mistakes clean. For an instant watching all the helpless sorrows I felt fall to the floor and into the drain. The water gave you this new beginning to start all over again. A different day, a different person. Just the complete ability to wash everything away and feel better. The reflections of your past that stared back at you in the water, didn’t matter. For a moment they were there and in an instant they were gone.

There are times I wished the water would wash away everything. The memories of the past and the moments of regret and self doubt. I wished the water would take those memories and drown them to the bottom of the ocean. Anything to take away the feelings of sorrow and regret. Because no matter how many times you scrubbed your skin, it never made you feel clean. You were always left with the reflections of your past staring back at you in the water.

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I know that I can’t change the past. For a moment I just want to make believe that the water holds all my sorrows and takes them away. All of the sadness, all the tears, and all the stupid memories, gone. Swallowed whole and through the drain to drown into the waters below.  Maybe the water can’t cure all my mistakes, but for a moment it can make me feel better.

Even just for a little while.