La Madre Universal
17" x 24"
pen and ink on paper
17" x 24"
pen and ink on paper
This evening I will be heading off to Cubao for the opening of the small exhibit of some of my works. I was looking at the pen and ink work - LA MADRE UNIVERSAL (which is already hanging right now at HALO RESTAURANT) I realized, while staring at this image, that she's really about my own mother and not just any other woman... a woman who raised us, has full of life and, well, a woman who just simply isn't the "cookie-cutter" type molded to be like the typical mother.
Funny though, this made me remember a conversation we had a few weeks ago.
“I have something to tell you. This morning I finally decided to use the sauna,” she began excitedly as I pulled up a chair to sit on.
“Great. You liked it huh?” I said as I was fumbling for a handkerchief in my pant pocket to wipe my sweat-stained forehead. The heat and humidity outside was so oppressive that it was a relief to sit in this air-conditioned room with her.
“Oh yes, definitely. The steam and the nice heat were simply relaxing and soothing even. I had no idea it could be that nice,” she said as she reached into her bag and whipped out a roll of tissue. “Here, wipe your sweat. You shouldn’t go around without a handkerchief or a towel. You know how sweaty you can get.”
“Thanks. So…?” I asked as I unrolled a long strip of the soft 2-ply with flower patterns.
“Well, so there I was sitting in the sauna. Sweat was pouring down all over my body and I felt as if all the pores on my skin were opening,” she said as her voice lowered to almost a whisper. “And you know what,” she leaned further and cusped her hand to her mouth, “Since there was no one around, I took off my towel!” and she giggled.
“No you did NOT,” I exclaimed.
“Yes I did,” she beamed triumphantly. “And I leaned back and closed my eyes.”
“BUT,” she added, “I didn’t hear the door open. And before I knew it, I heard the fitness instructor’s voice beside me exclaiming, ‘Mrs. T, for a woman your age you have full breasts!’”
“I was aghast to hear someone beside me. When I opened my eyes I was surprised that she didn’t have a towel on to cover her own CHEST!” she exclaimed. “And you know what? She has SMALL breasts! Like prunes!” she slapped her thigh and laughed.
“Then the other ladies started to come in, so I pulled up my towel. Then the instructor said, “Mrs. T., for a woman in her early fifties, it’s a good thing you keep yourself active.’”
“Right then I heard Marissa’s voice from the other side of the room exclaiming, ‘What do you mean ‘early fifties’? Linda’s already sixty nine.’ Hahaha! You wouldn’t believe how the instructor almost screamed in surprise!”
My mother started telling me about how all the other women were so surprised to know that she is the oldest in their group and that she’s already nearing seventy. We sat there, me wiping my sweat and she telling me about the other women in her exercise group, when I noticed her cupping her breasts.
“Do you think I should have a bust lift?” she asked.
“Mother, you have breasts that a woman half your age would die for,” I said.
“Thank you son,” and she giggled.