My dialogue with
Santa Maria de Guadalupe
“I don't remember the precise moment when I began my dialogue with
the Virgin of Guadalupe.
Could it be the day I was consecrated to Her or,
could it be on one of the ritual family visits to the Tepeyac, visits that carried the aroma of roses and corn bread of the atrium.
Or, could it be on one of those snowy nights in Canada, when the light of the Northern Star draws her silhouette for me and my migrant paisanos.
Or, one autumn when, from my garden of large maples, I said goodby to the Monarch Butterfles who began their migration flight to the forests of Michoacan.
Or, could it be in those wonderful moments when the labour pains announced the birth of my children.
Or could it be my godmother Lupita's candles that lit my way to Guadalupe when I was still in my mother's womb and I had not yet seen the light.
Or, is it that I have always had a dialogue with the Virgin.
The truth is that in my home, her collective image always has a place.
It was the medal of baptism, confirmation and first communion
a blessing at our wedding and the weddings of our children.
It is a recurrent image in my art and academic work. I explore her fine and elegant form with her nahui ollin flower and tepetl flowers, surrounded by golden sun rays, dressed in stars and the color of jade, with the waning moon at its feet, I find myself in the hollow of her cape and in the crossing of her arms. I draw her infinitely sweet face, a young and very pretty lady with European features and the dark complexion of our bronze people. In an encounter with my Mexican being, I paint her over and over and over again as I feel her, my divine mother of noble lineage, in her mysteries of goddess and woman, Guadalupe nantzin quetzalli, mother of God, in the Tloque Nahuaque, the near and the togetherness.
I paint her in her morada of tezontle red, Mitla red, sharing spaces with the old and wise grandmothers, together with the goddess Xochiquetzal, patron saint of tlacuilos, with Cihuacóatl, Tonantzin, the Coatlicue with the skirt of snakes and the heart in her hands, next to the wise milpa, the yellow marigold and the blue jade of the gigantic agaves of my land, the color of the Virgin’s cape and of the vault of her sanctuary which like a large tent, is the color that embraces all Mexicans.