There’s something I’ve been meaning to write about for a few days now. Last week Dan showed me a You Tube video of Lupita Nyong’o making a speech at Essence Magazine’s Black Women in Hollywood luncheon. For those of you who might not know who Lupita is, just a week ago she won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her work in Twelve Years A Slave. She is of Mexican and Kenyan heritage, and she is beautiful. As I listened to the emotional speech made by this insightful, intelligent, and lovely young women, I was astonished at her wisdom. She spoke of the seduction of inadequacy. Feelings that I am quite familiar with. She is a very dark-skinned young woman, and I am about as pasty white as they come. (I have been known to joke from time to time that I am not Caucasian, I am see-through.) In her speech she spoke of the pain of her childhood, of being ashamed, of wanting to be different. It is unfortunately a pain that I think all young people are familiar with, unless of course through genetic gifts they are blessed with what our society deems “perfection”. There are very few that fit that description, and yet I would bet that most if not all would be the first to point out flaws they find with themselves. I am old enough to be Lupita’s mother, but I learned much from listening to her eloquent words. What a shame that we have all been so convinced that there is something wrong with us. That we have the wrong hair, eye color, body type, skin color, and so on. I am an older woman. I am aging OK, not as bad as some, and not as good as others. As I listened to Lupita’s speech it was like listening to my own often mentioned “not good enough” voice that resides in my brain. I write of that voice in association with my art, but it is a far-reaching voice, and it can be very loud. I still struggle with self acceptance at my age. I think we could all learn a lesson from the gifted Lupita, and I think if you are a parent of a young girl or boy, there are lessons to be taught as well. If you have the time and inclination the video is well worth listening to. Just go to You Tube and put “Lupita’s Essence speech” in the search engine. I guarantee its five minutes that will make you think.
I was tired today. Spring forward my…(more about that tomorrow) Despite feeling tired I worked on finishing the room formerly known as Brian’s. In the end I did a small pen and ink of some Lily of the Valley. A favorite of mine that I haven’t seen since my last Chicago Spring ten years ago. The drawing was inspired by an old tin from Crabtree and Evelyn. When I was finished I decided to add a little color. Two photos, one without color and one with.