Saturday, May 31, 2014

Love Liberates - Happy Birthday Momma

"Love Liberates" that is what Maya Angelou said when she spoke of the unconditional love of her mother. Today is my mother's birthday, she would have been 93. Happy Birthday Momma.

I felt orphaned on the day she died on April 12, 2005 even though I was to turn 50 exactly one month later. There is no love like the love of one's mother.

Love Liberates

"I am grateful to have been loved and to be loved now and to be able to love, because that liberates. Love liberates. It doesn't just hold—that's ego. Love liberates. It doesn't bind. Love says, 'I love you. I love you if you're in China. I love you if you're across town. I love you if you're in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I'd like to have your arms around me. I'd like to hear your voice in my ear. But that's not possible now, so I love you. Go.'"

— Dr. Maya Angelou

In the video above Maya speaks fondly of her mother who told her when she was 22 "You know you may be greatest woman I have ever met." My mother gave me that same gift one day as she rocked in a chair on my front porch. I told her that my sister had said that she never wanted to live like me, being a working mom and never having much money. My mother said something to me that I hold close to my heart. She said "Don't let anyone talk to you that way, you are the richest person I know." From that day forward I have felt rich because my mother knew me better than anyone. I knew exactly what she meant. I am rich. I am loved and love liberates.

Happy Birthday Momma and thank you for the wonderful liberating gift of love.

Agnes Fajardo with her Willie Nelson braids
The month before she left us

Phenomenal Woman By Ruthie Foster

Live at Antone's

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Life's Little Journeys

I have been doing a "Whole Life Challenge" with some friends this month which means I am eating a gluten free diet, drinking more water, stretching, walking and journaling what I am grateful for. Today and every day I am grateful for the little jewel of a life I have created in Kyle, and I have to thank my friend Jenna for helping me to manifest this dream. She told me a story a year or so ago that broke my heart but helped me to realize my dream.

Like so many of my friends, Jenna used to be a Kervert, meaning she would park her wildly decorated trailer at the "Campers from Hell" campground in Kerrville and party with friends for 3 weeks. It has been years since she quit attending the annual folk fest. The last time that she attended, there were some teenagers who were making the daily drive down to the swimming hole for the day. They were killed in a car wreck. Jenna had just spoken to one of the girls that morning. She said that the death of that sweet young soul left a bigger impression on her than any other in her whole life. She decided that she wanted to live every day for the rest of her life the way she lived in Kerrville. So she created a place that is like heaven for her in Liberty Hill. To make a long story short, that is kind of the same decision I made after a rough couple of years. One was spent moving from Austin to St Louis, to Dallas and then to Kyle. A year ago I created a heavenly home... in Kyle, of all places.

One of my goals has always been to reconnect with my roots, that meant moving back to New Mexico... but wait .... most of my friends and up until 3 years ago my children were in Austin! Having everything in one place is rare.

Once in the 90's, I actually had an amazing weekend when the Folk Alliance Conference was held in Albuquerque. I was able to stay with my cousin Paul and his wife Kathy's house and hang out with him in the day and then go to the hotel and hang with my Austin friends at night. That was a dream come true for me! I have always been pretty good at creating my own little vortex of energy where ever I live but I feel like I have gotten it down to a fine art. Now I just wake up in the morning, have coffee and I can just imagine that my cozy little villa is almost anywhere I would want to be. I have tapas and a siesta in the afternoon and I in my mind, I may as well be in Spain... without the airplane ride. Then in the evening I take a short 15 mile trip to Austin to go hear some live music and I am with friends again. Amazing!

Maybe the "vortex" I've created in my home has been accentuated by watching world traveler, Anthony Bourdain's and the little journeys I take back through the centuries researching my ancestry. Almost daily, another piece of the puzzle falls into place and I discover yet another connection to something or someone. Imagine the excitement when recently I discovered that the Fajardos migrated from Spain by way of the Canary Islands. Discovering that there are streets, mansions and vineyards, named Fajardo has been so heart warming! 

Last week I was curious to see what the Canary Islands are like, I googled "Canary Islands" and the next thing I knew I was on ETSY buying a peridot ring from a company called "PeridotMountain," in Lanzarote, Canary Islands. I wasn't shopping for a ring, it just spoke to me so I ordered it. When the very nice and extremely poetic man received my order, he noticed my name and said he lives in wine country where there are only about 20 houses and the big house on the vineyard is Casa de Fajardo.

I have been communicating with my new friend from the Canary Islands for about a week because we seem to have a lot in common and he is helping to fill in gaps in the ancestry info. I know it is a little late in life to being learning all of this history and geography but this is the first time that it really seems to matter. I couldn't relate to the Texas history that they taught in Texas schools. So now, as I am learning the history that I am interested in, I am documenting my family history. When my children and grandchildren get old enough to care, they will have all of this to look back on.

So my new friend from Spain realized that Kyle is a short 50 miles from San Antonio and informed me that in 1731, 16 families (fifty-five people) from the Canary Islands were sent to San Antonio, Bexar County by King Felipe V of Spain. My cousins the Delgados, from Santa Rosa, are descendants of one of those families.

Today, my Spanish friends asked what kind of art I do. I sent him a photo of the "Red Guitar" I painted for Danny and Rene about 7 years ago because it remains my favorite. He immediately wrote back and said:

"The painting hit me right in the heart!!
No need for thought, no need for words,
just communicated the way real good
art is supposed to!" 

What a compliment! Then he said he is a musician and plays at the vineyard... well of course he does!

"Red Guitar" by Christina Fajardo
Painted for Rene and Danny Britt

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Reflections On My Birthday Month

Another year has gone by celebrating Taurus birthdays with all my Taurus friends....  except Sarah Elizabeth, the one that I miss very much. This Taurus birthday season just wasn't the same without her. She wasn't just the center of the Taurus parties, she was the center of every party. She had a way of creating a party when there wasn't one. I miss the magic in her infectious laughter. I miss her political incorrectness when she would say what everyone else was thinking. My birthday somehow wasn't right this year, I am hoping next year will be better... it's a big one... I will be 60.

Sarah Elizabeth Campbell and John Prine

I found a poem online about Taurus the Bull. After reading it, I thought yeah, maybe I have some of those traits but I've been a muse for a few songs that seem to have captured my essence a little better.

The latest on is a song written by my friend Danny Britt. The song is loosely based on me... or at least the first verse. His artistic license sort of took over somewhere in the middle of the song. It's called "She Only Drinks Whiskey In The Morning." He and I were having a conversation one day and I jokingly said that I only drank tequila in the morning, referring to "Tequila Sunrises," well he couldn't find a word to rhyme with tequila so he changed it to whiskey. Okay, cool... I like whiskey too.

In my defense I have never slept in a car or danced on top of a bar.

About 4 years ago my niece's husband, Mario Matteoli wrote a song about me and I am so glad I got passed that tragic, heartbreaking time of my life, but hey, I was a muse for a song that seems to help  a few women get through tragic, bad break-ups and I am absolutely positive that the attraction to tragic relationships is in my past. All I have to do is watch this video to remind myself that I never want to go down that slippery slope again.

In the 80's another good friend, Milton Carroll, wrote a song about me called "Cecelia Don't Give Your Heart Away." As you may imagine, the song was just as tragic as "Sweet Cecelia." 

Okay, so all the songs written about me aren't tragic. Here is one written by Daniel Ruddick in 1991 called "Christina's Magic." I actually named my company after the song and it held that name for many years.

Christina’s Magic

She sent Billy Doss from somewhere near Waco

He gave me a message from the lady Christine

Just like a snake I slipped from my past

Rode down on the back of a gold eagle’s wing

We landed in Austin then out of the shadows

Like a dervish she swirled and danced in my dreams

Christina slips off her synthetic see-through

And takes me to places I’ve never been

We ride on the slipstream, me and Christina

I told her I’ve loved her for lifetimes it seems.

She weaves her magic on a desert mandala

Her cluster of blessings are hidden by pain

Dark angel’s hair rolls down streaked like sunset

Lips sliced like peaches drive me insane

Standing on crystal here at the crossroads 

Waiting for lightening to strike twice again

Christina’s magic is old and it’s ancient  

My mother of mercy brings new life to me

We ride on the slipstream, me and Christina

I told her I loved her for lifetimes it seems

Thunder clouds gather 

Christina’s passion drives tears from heaven 

Down to the sea

The scarlet red dawning dances on trinkets

Treasures Christina has left for me

Christina’s magic is old, very ancient  

My mother of mercy brings new life to me

We ride on the slipstream, me and Christina

I told her I loved her for lifetimes it seems

Written by Daniel Rudick, August 20, 1991, 8:00 am

Of course, Daniel went back to Canada and later recorded the song with his new girlfriend and completely changed the lyrics. You can listen to it here.

So the moral to the story...

Recognizing, acknowledging and honoring our path is a lifetime commitment. Anyone that has spent any amount of time in therapy knows that we have relationships with people who mirror ourselves and the relationships we have with our parents. One of the most frustrating things in the world is feeling something painful and having other people tell you that you shouldn’t be upset. That has been the message I received for the majority of my life. 
I've read "The Secret" several times over, I should have it all figured out, right? In some areas of my life I do. I have excellent parking karma. Animals and children love me. I can make a yard come alive in the blink of an eye. Relationships are a different story. I mirror the one I experienced as a child. The one I was told to overlook. I have seen the law of attraction work for so many and it seemed to be working against me. Finally, last week I heard Esther Hicks say that if you strongly affirm something verbally, but you don't really believe it in your heart, you are actually working against yourself. It's like you are arguing with yourself and digging your heals in. I get that. I'm a bull... I dig my heals in. So my birthday gift to myself this year is to really acknowledge my beliefs and to continue healing that part of myself that, in the past, didn't feel heard. Family dynamics are a funny thing. I urge you to take a look at yours and if there is an imbalance, acknowledge it. The day after I had that "Ah Ha moment" I woke up with this poem in my head, it was around May 12, my birthday. I'd had a dream about a family member that had really hurt me numerous times over the years and not only did they not acknowledge it, I was expected to accept their behavior and I did for years! And since nobody acknowledged that it was happening, an apology wasn't in order. That was until I finally stood my ground and acknowledged what an unhealthy situation it was for the whole family. I assumed they cared about me as much as I cared about them therefore these atrocities couldn't be occurring.... well they were.  I thought they would always be there for me, only to realize they never were there for me at all. Acknowledgement of the truth is key. We all need to know that we are seen and heard and
that we matter.

Happy Birthday to all my Taurus friends and family
and also to all the Gemini friends and family! 
Gilbert, Mom and Dad to name a few.