Maybe I think I’m Superwoman or something, thinking I can run two businesses (art gallery and temporary tattoo business), make jewelry, write books and write blogs for Huffington Post, Fifty is the New, AND my own personal blog. Let me tell you that my own personal blog has suffered mightily, as you can probably tell since you’ve been probably sitting up nights, waiting breathlessly for my next post. So, just to catch you up on my activities, in the last three months, I’ve put out my new book, Jagua, Journey into Body Art from the Amazon. Yay! If I do say so myself, I think it’s gorgeous (so many beautiful color photographs!), super informative and fun to read. But that’s just me. Guess you’ll just have to buy it and let me know what you think. And, just to add to the stress, oops! fun, our company also launched a new product, The Earth Jagua Body Art Set, which includes the new book, the Earth Jagua Kit, and DVD, a 25-minute documentary film, Land of Jagua.
Just after that came Christmas; but we had long ago plotted our escape from the holidays by booking a month-long, first-time trip to Africa–Togo, Ghana and Mali. In a word: awesome. What can I say? I’d have to write a book about it, and I just can’t right now. I just got back to the worst natural disaster to hit a place: the tiny island called Haiti, which happens to be where I come from. In fact the earthquake happened the day my husband and I returned to the States.
Shock. Depression. Tears. Walking around like a ghost. Stress. And hope that maybe, just maybe, this will be the time for the big Rebirth. I dare to call it the worst natural disaster because, unlike the recent 2004 Tsunami, its death toll (very close to Haiti’s 150-200,000) spread across 14 countries, that’s fourteen, not one.
Overwhelming activity: dealing with calls from the media (you’d think I was somebody famous or something–these days, all you have to do to be famous is to be Haitian); mountains of emails and phone calls expressing concern from beloved friends and total strangers (all of which I want to respond to but can’t); requests to participate in fundraisers; phone calls and meetings with Homeland Security (a division of which was formerly known as Immigration and Naturalization Service). They aspire to reach out to the Haitian community to let them know that, should they need to go home to help the needy, they can help finesse the process, regardless of current status–I think they call it TPS, which means Temporary Protected Status. Fielding calls and emails from people and organizations with sudden, renewed interest in Haitian art. Yeah, my gallery could use the business. And I welcome the opportunity to reinforce the little-known fact that, in the realm of paintings, Haiti is the biggest source for black art in the world. A country worth saving, if only for the richness of its culture.
Anyone out there who is feeling sad for the Haitian people, or has donated anything, no matter how small, I thank you. It is all huge.