I can't remember when I first became infatuated with frida kahlo. it was later in life than most creative young women discover her I think. she was always a bit mythic to me & I was content to view her paintings from a distance, & flip through the pages of books about her in museum gift shops.
in a few weeks I'm heading to mexico city. I've wanted to visit for many years, but never found the time or the justification. this past summer I thought: I want to go to the frida kahlo museum. & scheduled the trip for that purpose. I'm excited to see her blue house & maybe feel closer to this women whose picture hangs on my wall. she's always been a symbol of permission to me. frida says: ok. now go.
now I want to know more about her. she is quite enigmatic. but the biographies I've found center her as a "married woman" & seem to gloss over her bisexuality, her politics, her contradictions. this is not uncommon in the ways we think about women artists. most often they are asked to be flat things. not allowed the flaws & problems of their male counterparts. I wonder: what will history erase of me? what will it erase of my female friends writing & painting & making art...
I recently decided to get back into traveling, after being pretty stationary in either NYC or LA for the past 10 or so years. I'm starting small, but working my way out to larger trips.
To that end I started a travel blog, Angelino All Over, to document my adventures both close to home & far away. Give it a click if you so desire. My first post, about Lime Oregon, went live today. Stay tuned for more adventures in the US & abroad.
My project of late has been to work on the frozen-in-place-ness I feel because none of my work is perfect, or good enough, or made on fancy equipment. It's a kind of imposter syndrome I guess. I keep wanting to wait to begin until I am sure I will already be good at it (great?) & I have the excellent cameras & lenses & stabilizers to go with it. But if I keep waiting for these things I'll never get anything done at all.
So, to that end, my first ever directing reel went live today in all it's rough glory. I am still working on the audio & music, & have a few more projects I am hoping to add soon, but this is my first go. Watch it below or on my website: natalieraymond.com/reel.
Made my way to Lime, Oregon to watch the solar eclipse. Lime is an abandoned cement factory in Baker Country on the eastern edge of Oregon. The eclipse was absolutely stunning, but impossible to capture in photos. I am fascinated by abandoned places though, & made a short documentary about Lime. Watch the complete documentary below & check out my photography from the site at natalieraymond.com/lime.
Looking over old journals this morning. It's strange to think how I wrote them with the idea of "an audience" in my mind. Everything is so restricted. So performative. I was so held back.
It's sad because I'll never get those high school notebooks back. I'll never get those days back & I can't remember what I was really like. A journal should be a record of that but I was so concerned with performing. I was so obsessed with self-censorship. Whatever I was then has evolved away & there's no record of it. She's lost to the years.
It renews my dedication to be honest in my current notebooks. A diary is a record yes, but it's also something of a self-portrait. Of course we can't be totally objective when it comes to our selves, but I think trying to keep an accurate outline at least is beneficial. Maybe it's how we learn not to lie to ourselves?
thinking about what being able to get the healthcare you need means/feels like. & why it's hard to dig out our healthcare traumas to try to beg other people not to strip us of that access, limited as it already is. seeing all these people on twitter talking about how they or their children would be dead without the ACA is so upsetting to me. we shouldn't have to relive our traumas for public consumption to be deemed worthy of a basic human right. & it's made even worse by the fact that the people who would take what small steps toward healthcare we have away from us don't care about our suffering.
”But there it is, the neutral roach, without a name for pain or for love.”
“For I was exaulting. I was coming to know the violence of the happy dark — I was happy as a demon, hell is my maximum.”
“Oh God, I was feeling baptized by the world. I had put a roach’s matter into my mouth, and finally performed the tiniest act.”
“Through the living roach I am coming to understand that I too am whatever is alive.”
“That was when the cockroach began to emerge.”
“The cockroach is pure seduction.”
nearly done with my first chapbook, the memoir of a cockroach. I have plans for this little lovely when done. currently: seeking an epigraph from the astonishing book The Passion According to G.H. by Clarice Lispector (the source of all the above quotes), which I highly recommend.
A little bit of a new look for natalieraymond.com as I transition from being in front of the camera to being behind it. Moving toward directing, screenwriting, & producing is a direction I never would have seen coming even just 5 years ago, but my recent soul searching has lead me to start making the switch. Look for more projects coming from me in the next several months.
Also very pleased to announce that my book, missoula., was deemed a semi-finalist for the 2017 Tarpaulin Sky book prize. This was the first time I have sent the manuscript out as a whole, & I'm quite pleased with the result. Read my poem a day project to get your daily dose of poetry & look for more publishing news in the near-ish future.
I will be making a real effort to blog more this summer! Watch out!