The painting “Viva La Mujer,” by artist Chuy Rangel was leaning against the wall behind a door, forgotten for more than five months. Since moving to our new home I didn’t know where to hang her.
As I contemplated International Women’s Day and the women who inspire me I remembered the painting. I stopped what I was doing and went to get her with a mission to find her a place on one of my white walls. I held her against several. The first was in the hallway across from my office. It looked great but something told me to keep looking. I placed it on one of the blank walls in the stairwell. Something told me to keep searching. I walked into the main living room. All the walls with room for a painting that size were taken by other paintings. I persisted. A smaller photograph of a billboard in Cuba with the image of Che Guevara and the words Revolucion occupied a wall near the fireplace and directly across from the kitchen. I took the Che Guevara painting down and replaced it with the Virgin de Guadalupe.
I can’t imagine a better spot for this powerful image with the refelction of my kitchen off the glass. Now as I stand in the kitchen, or sit at the dining room table I see Rangel’s potrayal of La Virgen of Guadalupe as a fierce, bold activist. The kitchen is where my activism begins with my daily food choices, with my decision to cook from scratch so I can control the story my food tells, and with my organized pantry and refrigerator to reduce food waste. Every time I’m in my kitchen I “virtually” hold my fist in the air and shout words of change while I knead dough, or sauté vegetables from local organic farmers, and teach my children to cook.
Today and every day I send my love and gratitude to the women of the present, past & future who rise in millions of ways. Sometimes quietly other times loudly to improve the human condition and care for our MOTHER Earth. QUE VIVA LA MUJER! My painting shouts back, QUE VIVA!
Eat less water at the kitchen table!
There is power in the collective.