Thursday, November 15, 2007

Shine is in the eye of the beholder

For the second time my artwork is part of Robert’s Snow: for Cancer Cure, a distinctive fundraiser consist of online auctioning more than 200 original pieces of art created on wooden snowflakes.
I received my wooden snowflake in the mail over the summer, right at the time I was finishing illustrations for a book and before my annual trip to visit my family in Mexico. But at last, late in August I was able to work in my snowflake.
I had been looking forward to the work, for I had a specific idea for this year. I was going to use one of my book characters as inspiration, Little Night, a book I painted while learning about the fierce fight for life of two Mexican families, the Varilla Cruz Family, and Asuncion’s’ family, whose mothers and one of the children were dealing with cancer and poverty.
The other part of my idea was that I wanted to create a music box—something new for me, but that I have seen before in the work of some of my artist friends.

At last the auction will begin this Monday, and as Little Night: See Me Shine, a music box, is about to be available for bidding, it came to my attention that the description posted by the Danna- Farber foundation has led to confusion about what my snowflake is and does. Here is the question that has prompted: Does Little Night: See Me Shine glow in the dark?

It does not. My snowflake is a music box. You twist the base of piece, and it cranks the mechanism that begins a broken tune. While the tune plays, the figure of the babe standing atop of the box turns around. The music was originally a popular Christmas song, but I altered the tune by taking apart the mechanism and breaking some teeth of the steel comb.
To give a further insight of how I make my snowflake, I put together this video that I created with the help of my artist fiends. My husband and son were the photographers, my friend Miguel Martinez created the music, and another friend of my provided the recording of the music box sounds.

And so why call it “See me Shine” if it does not shine?
I would say that the shine is in the eye of the beholder. My snowflake is a wish. A wish I have from my own child, my beloved son, as well for the Varilla Cruz children and Asuncion’s kids, which are five and have nobody else in the world but their mother. My wish for all of them is that they shine.
When I showed my writer’s group my snowflake and we discussed the name of my piece, one of them, my friend Jim, sent me this writing by Marianne Williamson, which tells it all so right:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

And so here is my wish for everybody: Shine.

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