Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Including Josephine Baker

Photo Credit Jim Chapman

I'm taking an online writing class this summer with teachers Robin Rice and Emily McDowell at The writing prompts are pictures and we are free to write whatever we'd like to as inspired by the photo. Over the next few weeks, I'll post some of my homework. 

Here's what I wrote to go with the photo above:

Frida Kahlo had heard his reasons forever. Diego Rivera put calla lilies in his paintings as a “symbol of celebration,” or “purity,” or as a “connection to the Virgin Mother.” He wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of the truth.

The calla lily has a deceptively simple form. A sleek single petal hides the pistil containing a single ovary, and the stamen completing the area of meiosis. Frida knew the real reason Diego painted the bushels of lilies carried in the arms of indigenous women. She was sure of the meaning behind the lilies held in great sheaves by naked women.

Anyone could see, the tender lily reflected the secret garden of a woman. Frida had held many women in her arms, some whose names she couldn’t even remember. Her husband would never, could never, forget any of these women. And so, he painted them.

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