It’s hard to know where to begin with my story, as time doesn’t always follow a forward path…. Sometimes it goes in circles, sometimes it reaches one point and then jumps to another, or turns back. Therefore, I’ll start at the present; I’ll start with hoy.
At this precise moment, I am not where I long to be, not where I feel the happiest.. No, as a matter of fact, I am far from that place, conceivably not in distance –relatively speaking– but in culture, space, architecture, and time. I feel I find myself in a world of opposites, this being the proof to my point. Yet, I should follow my happiness, transporting myself, at least in thought, and sharing with you this magical place of mine called Álamos.
It has been my home in many ways, in more than just one sense. I have planted a seed there, and it has grown its roots to reach and extend unto all the little rinconcitos of this land, as well as the hearts of many. I still remember, as in flashes that correspond to all the different epochs when I have lived there, details of my existence in Álamos. I recall the heat, giving birth to the most vibrant red to ever exist: the color of my face, as I endured at only 2 years of age the blazing temperatures the summer brought. I bear in mind the girl I stayed with, while my parents took off towards the Mines in an environmental effort, and how she sat by me on the dirt as we made necklaces out of seeds. I see all my dresses still today; I see them in memories and I see them in touch, as I return to find them over and over again, though today perhaps not quite meeting the standards for my size.
Yet my most recent memory is one that haunts me… it unsettles me, never leaving me at ease. In represents itself in the form of an image that exists to trouble me in my mind, and to be admired on a wall. It is La Virgen de Dolores, and she was my most recent project to give back to the community. She currently displays beautiful shades of ochre, fine details in cyan, aureolin, and purple. She is stunning indeed. Some say she has an air of mine, and I thus far have not seen it. But, why would this cause me discontent, how could this be the origin to such turmoil in my being? Well, the Virgen does have one visible defect, and brace yourselves…: alas, her nose is crooked!
The simple rules of symmetry in the face do not hold any sneaky secrets from an artist –nor any given person, for that matter. In fact, they are quite blatant. The norms of proportionally don’t fall back behind as they too hold a very similar explicitness. Why, then?
-Was I not capable of spotting my mistake?
I could perhaps even state that such unkind blunder could be spotted from miles away. It was as plain as day. To me, at least, it was. Perhaps it was eating at me specifically, now that I had seen it, myself being the creator of this gaffe and consequently giving it the magnitude it held.
And now, with the perspective that distance provides, I believe I have come to understand the underlying cause. What drove me to such impertinence was merely an act obliged by the subconscious. It was a lock; a mistake that would secure a return in a not too distant future.
La Virgen de Dolores impatiently anticipates me, awaiting my arrival, as does most of the municipality. You see, I stated my phrase wrong. It isn’t I who has planted a seed in Álamos, but rather Álamos in me. I feel the pulse of the city, its rhythm deep within me, slow and canny. I crave the warmth of the people that live there, the perhaps lackadaisical lifestyle, the routine each day takes while still somehow, and astonishingly, remaining unpredictable. I ache for the closeness to nature that I am capable of finding there, and I long to hold the hands of the children whom I hold dear in my heart. Clearly, I can already hear them asking “when is Ita coming back?”
Riconsitos – corners, sites that are very familiar and dear, revealing a deep understanding and sense of place.
La Virgen de Dolores – in 2009 hurricane Norbert hit the town of Álamos bringing along calamity –amongst other things. As done previously in the past, the community rose up against the devastation and faced it together in order to mend the city.
Undeniably, beyond destruction and tragedy, there was something else that Norbert brought holding more importance: it proved, once more, the mutuality that exists within the residents of Álamos. As a tribute to this remarkable event, the public convened and requested the face of the Virgen to be painted. I have depicted this hope twice.