Blessed Are the Weird!

weird 4

Eccentric, eclectic, unusual, unique, odd, nuanced, passionate, creative. All possible definitions of ARTIST. And I proudly fit that description and wear the tattered, paint splattered, cloak of it into a very frayed and jaded world with pride and aplomb.

It didn’t take me long in life to realize the “weird” people were the most interesting, had the most to say and share, and lived life with a passion and wild abandon that I craved.

weird 2

I was utterly blessed to be a child of the 60’s–deeply immersed in a cultural and political upheaval that yielded an urgency to speak up; sing, dance, write poetry, make art, and live lovingly.

I was reared on the philosophy that we are all divinely connected and intertwined and each of us has a vital role in the grand cosmology. I was blessed to live collectively with others “on the land” and to be an active part of collaborative relationships.

I was raised on barter and co-ops, shared parenting and schooling, consciousness raising circles and a moral imperative to try to make the world a kinder, more tolerant place.

But I never, ever “fit in” or ran with the “in” crowd..or, truth be told, ever wanted to…I was always the odd-duck, the one out of step, never stylish or trendy, forever lost in a book while others were at parties and out rambling in nature while others were primping for dates.

Mostly that was okay with me–I’ m a happy loner anyhow–preferring my solitude and creative pursuits to “hanging out” or shopping, but it wasn’t until I stumbled onto the inspired work of Jaocb Nordby, author of “Blessed Are The Weird,” who seemed to be speaking to me directly with this…

weird 13

Jacob Nordby’s philosophy is to exalt our weirdness and give it the deep respect it deserves. He says:

weird 6

I’ve come to realize that almost all of the writers, poets, musicians, scientists, and regular folks I admire and revere are “weird.” And, though I have some wonderfully “normal” friends and care deeply about many people who are “straight” in lots of ways–I prefer those who are odd, interesting, unique, and, in short, WEIRD!

I see weirdness as a blessing! A gift! A sacred calling! I celebrate weirdness and honor those strong enough, brave enough, “authentic” enough to be weird in a world that extols the value of “fitting in.” Blessed are the weird!

weird 11

Weirdness has responsibilities…

weird 8

and rewards…

weird 14

Weirdness requires us to

weird 15

and blesses us by attracting others to us who are unique too. So…

weird 7

and

weird 5

Instead of feeling (as I have all of my life that I’m “not of this world”) or lamenting that I’ll never be “normal” by anyone’s standards, I now celebrate my weirdness…and admire it in others. I realize that

weird

I see the tribe of creative women who come to play at The Creative Cottage as divine weirdos, eccentric brave-hearts, and soulful sisters of mercurial merriment.

So, come on!

Lighten your spirit, shake off your bondage to “normal,” stop worrying about what other people think…be YOU–wild wonderful weird YOU!

Do It NOW!

weird 9

Love & Blessings Fellow Weirdos!

Kaitlin (who is letting her freak flag fly!)

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Images from Pinterest with thanks.


weird 10

By Kaitlin Meadows

Lost Daughters of Juarez

11-16

Dia De Los Muertos season in Tucson is magical, meaningful, and profoundly moving. We are blessed to have many fine opportunities to learn about and honor the traditions of native and indigenous peoples in Tucson–including the excellent work done by  Many Mouths One Stomach, culminating in our Day of the Dead Procession on November 4. 

Perhaps my favorite way to honor this tradition is sharing the powerful celebration offered with love by Ceci and John and all those who help support Raices Gallery.

11-18

For over fifty years I have been a feminist artist activist in the tradition of the Guerrilla Girls: acting up, speaking out, and making political art. This year I am pleased to offer two pieces in the Raices Gallery Dia De Muertos show, inspired by my social justice work with women of many cultures.

My pieces: Honoring and Remembering The Lost Daughters (Mothers, Sisters, & Friends) of Ciudad Juarez

11-23

Remembering Esmeralda and Isabel:

Juarez Women

Mixed media collages by activist artist Kaitlin Meadows that contrast haunting confirmation photographs of young women (representing ultimate purity & innocence) and tattered lace and human detritus (representing the landfills & dumps in which their mutilated bodies have been discovered).

11-26

The phenomenon of the female homicides in Ciudad Juárez, called in Spanish feminicidio (“feminicide“), involves the violent deaths of hundreds of women and girls since 1993 in the northern Mexican region of Ciudad JuárezChihuahua, a border city across the Rio Grande from the U.S. city of El Paso, Texas.

The number of murdered women and girls in Ciudad Juárez since 1993 is estimated to be more than 1,500.

11-20

The murders in Juárez would not have drawn such national and international attention if it were not for the heroic efforts of the victims’ families and activist women around the world.  

11-27

 The murders of women and girls in Ciudad Juárez have received international attention, due to Mexican government inaction in preventing violence against women and girls and bringing perpetrators to justice.

11-25

Evidence suggests that a specific group of women and girls are being targeted in Ciudad Juárez. The victims share common characteristics, and there are many similarities in the violent crimes committed against them. Most of the victims are young women who come from impoverished backgrounds and work in maquiladoras, as factory workers, in other sectors of the informal economy, or are students.

Cultural academic Mercedes Olivera has argued that feminicide is a mechanism of domination, control, oppression, and power over women.

11-22

My work hopes to bring greater knowledge and compassionate response to this tragedy of loss.

11-21

In 1999, a group of feminist activists founded Casa Amiga, Juárez’s first rape crisis and sexual assault center. The center works to provide women in Juárez with a refuge against violence, therapy, legal counsel, and medical attention.  Casa Amiga also works to raise public awareness both locally and internationally regarding the exploitation and dehumanization of women in Juárez.

11-24

In 2002, a social justice movement named Ni Una Mas, which in Spanish means “not one more,” was formed to raise international awareness to violence against women in Juárez. The movement consists of a variety of domestic and international organizations and individual activists. Ni Una Mas participants demand that the Mexican state implement strategies that prevent violence against women including murder and kidnappings and that the state conduct competent investigations on crimes already committed.

All proceeds from the sale of these remembrances will go to Casa Amiga and Ni Una Mas

11-17

JOIN ME FOR THE OPENING CELEBRATION OF DIA DE LOS MUERTOS

FRIDAY NOV 2, 2018           6:00 – 9:00 PM

RAICES TALLER 222 ART GALLERY & WORKSHOP

218 E. 6TH STREET   TUCSON, AZ  85705

(520) 881-5335

Exhibition Dates:  Nov 2 – Nov 17, 2018

A BEAUTIFUL AND SINCERE EVENT CELEBRATING DIA DE LOS MUERTOS IN THE TRADITION OF THE HISPANIC SOUTHWEST

ALTARS AND OFRENDAS BY INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES AND COMMUNITY GROUPS

PAINTINGS, SCULPTURE, PHOTOGRAPHY AND MIXED MEDIA WORK BY LOCAL AND REGIONAL ARTISTS

EVENT STARTS AT 6:00 PM WITH BLESSING OF THE SPACE AND LIGHTING OF THE CANDLES

JOIN US FOR FOOD (POTLUCK – BRING SOMETHING TO SHARE), REFRESHMENTS & MUSIC !

MUSIC BY TUCSON’S OWN MARIACHI MILAGRO !

CHILDREN WELCOME – DIA DE LOS MUERTOS ACTIVITY TABLE !

DONATIONS APPRECIATED !

Regular gallery hours:  Fridays & Saturdays 1:00 – 5:00 pm and by appointment 

Dia de los Muertos – 2018 is sponsored in part by generous donations from:

Jerry & Dina Aguilar family / La Mesa Tortillas

Claudia Arevalo / Arevalo Law Firm LLC

Mariachi Milagro & artist David Tineo

Muchisimas Gracias!                              

Raices Taller 222 Art Gallery & Workshop is Tucson’s only Latino based nonprofit cooperative contemporary art gallery located in the Downtown Historic Warehouse District

 www.raicestaller222.com 

Let us open our hearts and souls to the stories and solace of those who have passed over and yet still offer us their wisdom and grace.

All Good Blessings of the Season to You and Yours, Both Living and Passed

Kaitlin

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2018. All Rights Reserved.

By Kaitlin Meadows