I once made a Pinterest board with photos of my board of directors or mentor tree as suggested in Elle Luna’s Skillshare class but I never actually printed any of the images. Instead I have been insisting on creating small graphite and watercolor illustrations of them in different styles.
Like Alejandra, who I’ve painted realistically, I’ve drawn her in pencil and in ink and her photo is the only one I printed and pinned on my wall. I have read her books, her diaries tirelessly. She is an icon of Latin American letters. Tumblr is full of quotes by her yet, she is one of the most dangerous poets to love. She suffered from a beast of a depression that kept her awake night after night, she wrote and wrote about fear, loneliness, agony, she searched for the precise word each time, and found that sadly sometimes there is no precise word.
She took her own life at the age of 36.
Despite her sadness, it feels alright to admire her and make her words mine, even in all their brutality.
Being highly sensitive, means the amplification of everything, sounds, smells and emotions. In our culture we tend to run away from “negative” emotions so much that it feels like a race without a finish line. What I do, and this is a spin from MBSR is to sit with those emotions, even if they feel overwhelming and let myself channel them into whatever shape they might take.
If they make you write, draw, sing, cry, scream, so be it. I don’t think it’s beneficial to try to trick ourselves into false positivism anymore than to reach for the numbing effect of our phones, our remote controls, a glass of wine, a pill, etc.
When I read Alejandra’s diaries it feels like a dark hole starts pulsating outwards, so much truth, so much feeling. An intensity disguised as non-intensity.
And as such, I unconsciously draw her again and again.