This poem is about Frida Kahlo and how her art has comforted me for years…
|"The Broken Column" by Frida Kahlo|
I simply adore her for many reasons. I feel a sense of connection with Frida because, like her, I went through many surgeries as a child and had to spend time at hospitals. The experience has left me with some scars and trauma to deal with.
I still remember the first time when I saw Frida's The Broken Column -painting and just felt like crying...
...because in that portrait she had painted EXACTLY how I felt as a child and still often feel.
She's the only painter I know who's captured that sense of being broken in your body perfectly and that deep sorrow that comes from living in such a broken-cut-open-repaired body and that feeling of being deserted in your own experiences of pain, sorrow and suffering.
Her paintings are like visual poetry to me, and her life story and art are a great source of inspiration for me. And, like I say in the poem, I feel she has, in a way, been a loving teacher for me. I simply love her - hence the love letter to her in the form of a poem.
Frida, this is my love letter to you.
You, the patient teacher,
your art the healer that got under my skin:
taught me comfort
in this uncomfortable skin
taught me the vital how:
how to feel whole
when you're just body parts
on an operating table;
bleeding first blood, then just tears.
Frida, you must have felt
the surgeon's blade
as it rips you open again and again, and how it always
cuts so much more than
the skin; how it breaks you
and how you are
strangely injured in the very act of healing:
how you resurface from that cutting
anaesthetized and under water;
floating in the ceiling
your body no longer how you once knew it
your body no longer yours,
what once was whole is now in parts and bleeding.
And so you are
left running around wounded and
scared like a little deer. Karma, you said it simple.
Frida, you must have also known
the endless hours every patient lies in waiting,
inpatient for something to heal, for something real to heal:
for the bones to fuse together
for the casts to break and break free
for the wounds to close,
there are the injuries of the self and the soul, harder to heal.
you made those hours fly in all the colors of the rainbow
your pictures from the sickbed are
the healing and the comfort I know to be real;
without a word, you let me know
you've been there:
in the haunted house of a cut body, bleeding soul
yet you also showed me how to be fertile
from the million pieces of your brokenness
the flesh, the blood, the bone and the pain
you made art and learned to walk in step
entirely your own;
one sweep from your flowing dresses
hid away the scars,
instead of the crown of thorns,
you chose to wear the flowers in bloom.
Frida, you must have known
how it feels
when joy , once monkeying in wild abondon on your shoulder,
has flown away like a bird,
no longer sitting on your shoulder like a dear pet
despite the transfusions of art,
life pours out of your womb
in sudden miscarriage
but there is still life, still life;
the flowers, and the fruit testify!
you have had to grow a spine of steel to bear it all,
and now there are nails everywhere;
your broken column and
the long road of recovery always behind
and before you
it's a strong woman
who bares her broken parts
you seem to say:
I held so tightly
to the hand of life
my fertile land was turning into a desert
- I made it bear my art, if not my child
and though the million pieces of my brokenness may still lay on the street:
I am not sick, just broken
and who needs feet, when
I have wings to fly!
You seem to say,
There's a frame for all those fragments,
the pieces all come together after all,
painting this reality your gift.
Frida, I hope you know:
when the broken one declares her absolute wholeness,
the world is comforted.
|"The Wounded Deer" painting by Frida Kahlo (1946)|
Tadiya Dasi: "My poems are the outpourings of my heart. My inspiration comes from seeking the heart of yoga through bhakti. In poems, and in life, I seek to embrace the questions and live the answers of my heartfelt truth to the highest degree of surrender possible. I search for that truth through heart-centered, meditative, yoga practice." You may connect with Tadiya on facebook here, or via e-mail Tadiyadasi@yahoo.com.
~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~