You’ve made it this far

By Danié Gómez-Ortigoza

November 21, 2020

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I think we all deserve to appreciate how far we’ve come this year. We really do. Simply for waking up and doing whatever we do, putting our heart into it, when everything is against us. This year, the road we walk has had more valleys than mountains. The mountains have been steeper than never. But we are still trying.

I don’t know about you, but I‘ve wanted to give up so many times, with all the projects I had for this year. Most of them won’t happen, or transformed into something completely different, but I’m still trying. I know you are too. So regardless of ‘success’ and the weight that our cultural perception of that word might inflict on us, just take a moment to acknowledge your resilience.

I was deeply touched by a conversation I attended at the Rubell Museum last week with Genesis Tramaine, an artist deeply influenced by gospel music and the Bible. Her simple presence had some sort of halo. She did certain rituals acknowledging the presence of God, before she started her conversation with Mera Rubell, one of the most caring humans I’ve met. And she does see God beyond religion, which is something I think is needed these days when religious institutions have played politics dividing people when what we need most is braiding ourselves together.

Genesis also approached my children and encouraged them to create and create more. To draw every feeling and every thought. My six-year-old son who we have recently discovered he has a tenor voice, was so excited when he saw her singing as well: she’s a multimedia artist who loves singing, just like him.
How important it is to see ourselves reflected on others to understand who we are. It takes such a long process to nurture a human being, and identity the things he/she is passionate for and what that means in the context of their mission in life and the transcendence of their story.

I was passionate of so many things when I was a little girl. I loved writing poetry and acting. More than anything I loved bringing feelings to life. But it was never encouraged or recognized as a positive thing because those were traits from my mother, who I didn’t grow up with, and who was seen as a reference of what not to become in my father’s eyes. And yet all these life experiences are often lived so shortsightedly. We judge them as traits or choices, but there is so much more to them. They carry the stories of our ancestors. Our lineage. The more we look back to the stories of those who came before us, the more we are able to understand the situation we face in life, and why the mountains look like mountains and the valleys look like valleys. The reality is that everything is just a matter of perception.

So let’s be less harsh with ourselves, and continue to break through the old ancestral chains that have prevailed through generations and free ourselves and those that will come after us from stepping on the same stones, and gain a new understanding of the purpose of our existence and the relevance of all the messages that are delivered to us through those around us. And perhaps,  let’s define success differently; more based in the equilibrium and care we give to the planet and humanity, and less based on our capacity to produce money and own things that end up owning us.

And the journey continues.

 

 

Art: Rubell Museum