It’s Thursday! And that means another throwback to a fabulous woman of the past. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Frida Kahlo before – and if you haven’t you’ve definitely seen pictures of her and her glorious uni-brow with flowers on her head looking as if she has a secret she might just tell you.
I won’t pretend that I’m a Frida Kahlo expert, because, to be honest, all I knew about her before today was that she was a famous painter and she had a really nice uni-brow. From what I gather though, she had a pretty complicated life. A horrifying bus accident rendered her immobile for months on end in a hospital bed (broken spinal column, ribs and leg, dislocated shoulder, handrail through abdomen – you get the picture). It was in her hospital bed that she started painting her unique self portraits, mainly depicting the pain that she was enduring and the ongoing nightmarish reality she was experiencing. The accident had also compromised her ability to have children. One particular painting portrayed herself in a hospital bed bleeding. This was painted right after her second miscarriage of three.
Frida married another famous Mexican painter (twice), had a few affairs, spent a lot of her life in a hospital bed and was an active member of the communist party. She eventually had her leg amputated because of her accident 30 years prior and a week before she died she took part in a demonstration against the US protesting the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala. I’m sure I wouldn’t have agreed with all of Frida’s views, but you have to admit she was an intriguing lady. She was only moderately successful during her lifetime, but her work has been celebrated far more widely in the years after her death. Again, I am certainly not a Frida expert, but at some point in my life, I had come across her words and I thought them to be important enough and inspiring enough to write down. Without even knowing anything about me, Frida had written exactly what I needed in that moment. 13 little words that are so simple, but make me want to soar and run at the world head on.
“Feet – what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”
How wonderful it would be if someone a hundred years from now stumbled across my words and thought them important enough or inspiring enough to save. If my words could touch someone – or motivate someone – or make someone feel a little braver when facing the world, well, I think that would be pretty special.