Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Frieda and Diego

Frieda Kahlo has ascended to pop culture deity status, her likeness adorning magnets, totes and tee shirts world wide.  She's a favorite Halloween costume among woke girls and women alike so it was no surprise that tickets to La Casa Azul were in high demand.  In spite of the hype, the tour was incredible.  To stand in the rooms where she spent her formidable years and later lived and suffered with her inimitable husband Diego was affecting.  Her chronic illness and broken body were the catalyst for her iconic style and contributed to her renowned self portraiture.  When Patti Smith stood next to the bed where the artist laid, butterflies on the ceiling, a gift from Noguchi and a mirror at the foot of the bed she was inspired to write these words:

I can not walk

I can not see

further than what

 is in front of me

I lay on my back

I do not cry

transported in space

by the butterflies.

Above my bed

another sky

with the wings you sent

within my sight

all pain dissolves

In another light

transported thru time

by the butterfly.

Our ticket to Casa Azul also included entrance to the lesser known Museo Anahuacalli, Diego Rivera's architectural masterpiece built from local lava rocks to house his impressive collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts.  Under dark skies and intermittent raindrops we were awestruck when we entered the plaza and saw the imposing temple.  We wandered the vast, deserted museum dizzy with good fortune to have stumbled upon this gem.  We engaged in an informative conversation with an Ohioan who was knowledgable about ceremonial artifacts, and later, while we sipped beverages in the cafe, he told us about his early years working for Cesar Chavez, "a genuine article".   Even though I pack more activities into the day when I'm traveling, time also slows down, making room for unforeseen exchanges and experiences.  

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