Monday, November 23, 2009

Mailart #7: The Health Issue

What do you say to a young, "immortal" twenty-something who has lived a healthy life, not knowing age or illness? Oh, I hear you and I do. I tell him to take at least 2000 IUs of Vitamin D3, eat the prickly pear fruit and mesquite flour I sent him, take the multi-vitamins, drink some tea, get as much sleep as possible, etc., etc..

Today, I've got a mailart piece that I made for my college boy last March. I know. The American love affair with the car is over. Yet, I don't have a new lexicon from which I can make an allegory or metaphor for the preciousness our bodies hold and the ever changing medical information and issues that currently face us. So, I chose the image of one of the fastest cars made and the image of a dashboard to convey my motherly hope for my son's good health, both physical and psychological. Tucked into the "glove box" are 4th grade notes his classmates wrote years ago.

This piece does have some naughty words, in German, that were fun to include. Just a note of warning because mom's don't approve of such things on a regular basis.

The message: I am like a Mercedes-Benz I am like an SLR McLaren I am like a Mercedes-Benz I am like an SLR McLaren I will be careful with fuel...I like to be fine-tuned I am like an SLR McLaren I am liking proper maintenance...

Racing toward 20 !!

If a year were a mile
You wouldn't want to rush to/at
20 miles an hour, kmh

You'd want to walk
As much as possible
Looking, tasting, enjoying
Every step

Tacking, west-toward
a quarter of a century
Racing up that way

Shift down
Cruise Control
Double clutch

Once in awhile

Drawn from mile to mile
With Beauty

Draw: Smudge lines
Line the path*
There are arrows

Everywhere to direct you
Erase where necessary

Ask yourself:
What memories will fill
my odometer?
What kind of tread will
I burn...and/or
bridges too?

Love, mom
© M. S. Esparza

A few of the polite,funny German auto terms I found:
INDICATORS Die Blinkenleiten Tickentocken
CLUTCH Die Kuplink mit achlippen und schaken
PUNCTURE Die Phlatt mit Bludymucken
FUEL GAUGE Der Walletemptyung Meter
TRAFFIC JAM Die Bluddinmuckin Dammundblast
BACKFIRE Der Lowdenbangermekkenjumpen


Jeane Myers said...

Melinda, this is just wonderful - he is so lucky to have you as a mom - :)

Melinda said...

Hi Jeane! Thank you so much. Oh, I surely hope he thinks so too.

I love your new photo! And, your work always inspires me.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

How beautiful -- the artwork and the poem. Ah motherhood. You touched me deeply and I'm heading out to get more Vitamin D. You are so great!
Funny, talented, kind and a sweet, loving mother.


Melinda said...

Now, if only we can take our own best advice, yes?! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this post and that you are going to get some more Vitamin D.

You are fantastic and I always enjoy hearing from you.

Virtual hugs!!

kathrynlaw said...

What an extraordinary being you are. If every young person had a parent like you, imagine what the world would be like, a generation from now. :)

Melinda said...

You're too kind, Kathryn! But, thank you so much for your words. I often think what a good world it might be if each parent could live in an environment conducive to raising well balanced children (with the proper tools, of course).

Observing Ell, illustrates to me that an artist can be whole AND deeply talented. He is bright, enthusiastic and creative without a lot of the baggage that we old timers have. Then I think, well, hey, we older ones can be our own best parents now...

Ooooh, you've got a new photo, too! I love it. Well done!

Bob Cornelis said...


A wonderful post that resonates so strongly with me - I also have a 19 year old son in college. He has had some serious health problems in the past and has learned from that the importance of maintenance and tuneups, etc.

I love the metaphor of the car, a machine like our bodies with the potential for thrills and danger at the same time.

Melinda said...

Hi Bob,
I hear you! Because they think that illness and accidents happen to others, it's distressing to watch them take risks with their health and safety. Sometimes things happen that aren't their fault too.

I used to love to work on my old cars years ago. So, this metaphor works for me in a deep way. I totally understand!

Thank you for getting it. And, thank you for your comment.