Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Self-reflecting/reflection; Art as self/Self as Artist

Taken at Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What experience will you miss?

Having the universe at your disposal
What is there to possess?

Only the courageous surrender
To receive all the Universe has to offer.

--Haven Trevino, The Tao of Healing

Monday, January 16, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Self-portrait: The memory of trees

2nd Anniversary of Haiti's earthquake

Today marks the two year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti. In the months following the earthquake, I flew to Haiti to volunteer in Medical Relief efforts. Today, I'm spending some time reflecting , praying and still trying to make sense of the aftermath which is still evidenced today. Check out my earlier blog to and read the story of my experiences there. I was very happy and proud to help my people in such a direct and intimate way. This is an experience I will never forget!

Read the blog here: http://brothaluvacafe.blogspot.com/2010/05/medical-mission-to-haiti.html

Monday, January 09, 2012

Friday, January 06, 2012


According to the American Cancer Society:
For years cancer survivors have worried about, joked about, and been frustrated with the mental cloudiness they sometimes notice before, during, and after chemotherapy. Even though its exact cause isn’t always known, this mental fog is commonly called “chemo brain.” Patients have been aware of chemo brain for some time, but only recently have studies been done that could start to explain it.

Doctors have known for years that radiation treatment to the brain could cause problems with thinking and memory. Recently, they have found that chemo is linked to some of the same kinds of problems. (To read more about radiation and its effects, see Understanding Radiation Therapy: A Guide for Patients and Families.) Research has begun to show that some cancer drugs can cause certain kinds of changes in the brain. But it’s also showing that chemo is not the only thing that can cause problems with thinking and memory for people with cancer.

Though the brain usually recovers over time, the sometimes vague yet distressing mental changes cancer patients notice are real, not imagined. They might last a short time, or they might go on for years. These changes can make people unable to go back to their school, work, or social activities, or make it so that it takes a lot of mental effort to do so. They affect everyday life for many people, and more research is needed to help prevent and cope with them.

After my 9th chemo treatment (5a for those in the know), I experienced so much nausea, headaches, and some issues where my brain didn't seem to be functioning correctly. I was "foggy", my memory short, and even my vision blurred. This was a tough treatment session. Nevertheless, I engaged in a activity that I love to (1) Feel good doing something I love, and (2) to capture and depict some of the effects of my chemo brain.

Chemo #9: It's almost over. Just three more treatments to go.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy Haitian Independence Day!

Independence day in Haiti is an important holiday. We celebrate it on January 1, the same day as New Year's Day.

On January 1, 1804, Haiti, located in the West Indies, made history by being the first Black Country to gain its independence. Haiti's original name was "Ayiti, Quisqueya, Bohio." It was a name given by the original inhabitants who lived there. After Christopher Columbus discovered the Island in 1492, he named it "Hispaniola," meaning "Little Spain," in honor of the Spanish crown. The name changed to "Haiti" meaning mountainous land. It was a name given by the French settlers in the western area.

Toussaint L'Ouverture who is one of the greatest heroes, led his country to victory over French general Le Clerc in a revolution of the slaves. It wasn't only Toussaint L'Ouverture that helped with the victory. There were many other generals, too.

Francois Capois was the leader of the "Bataille de vertiere." Even though they shot his hat off his head, he said, "En avant , En avant."

Many of the generals died by fighting for the independence, Most of them didn't see the first independance day.They were brave and zealous to serve their country and they hoped that one day they would be free.

When the French were in control, they had a law said that they were the only ones who could eat soup because they were in the upper class. The French used to have a custom that only they could eat soup on New Year's Day. Blacks weren't allowed.

Eventually when Haiti proclamed its independence, all Haitians started to eat soup.It was a way to demonstrate that everyone was equal. Since then we keep this custom of eating soup on Independence Day. The soup was a symbol that the French were no longer in control. People didn't like to be treated like slaves and to be told what they could and couldn't do. Cooking and eating the soup on New Year's Day is a way to celebrate freedom.