Time to Switch Gears 🚙

The New York Times Reader’s Center is looking for inspiring people who prove it’s never too late to switch gears, change lifestyles and pursue dreams. They want to hear from people of all ages who are living according to their own timeline — in regards to career, education, athletic pursuits, family, friendships or another calling: People who learned to drive after the age of 40, found love after age 75 or finished a marathon at age 99.

Designs by JAM (me), for sale

Most artists are used to this idea of switching gears. We do it in each artwork. For me it happens when painting and also when writing. I have switched gears in religion too, shifting my whole panorama. It is not the same to be an inherited catholic, a new-age practitioner, or a returned catholic (I passed through them in this order). As an inherited catholic, I did duties because I had to. I saw advantages in dropping it, but I never satisfied myself in new age’s doctrines. I felt no peace and was running all the time, from one place to the other. Of course, physical surgeries made me reflect on my acting, and a trip I took to Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to Israel. I finally turned to a religion of love, the Catholicism I knew already, with a deeper understanding and embracing the faith. I wish you the same in your Trip, different for each person, in which religion and beliefs are upmost important.

LINKS

Did You Switch Gears Later in Life? We Want to Hear from You.
June 16, 2021

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I cry on Tuesdays and Fridays 😭

Michelle Pasos, 46, describes herself as someone who has “always been extremely healthy.” That is until the pandemic (😷😷 this sounds familiar). She ended up in the emergency room because she had a bad reaction to a drug prescribed to bring down her elevated blood pressure. And being there decided she was better than doing housekeeping. So when the hospital gave her the option of going home and monitoring herself, or staying an extra night, she chose to stay. It was the first time she had felt calm in a year.

Raising kids can be exhausting. They run from one place to the other, when toddlers, followed by an adult, for safeness. Later on, when kids, they have to be kept entertained with fun activities to do, or at least an educational TV show to watch. BTW, I made this apparel for children, out of my painting “3 moons”, acrylic on canvas:


Kids bring great joy to families. They contribute with new things and happy moments. Husbands feel grateful to be part of a lucky group, the family. Actually this is the center of the church’s pastoral. Pastoral is built on them starting with the sacred family, the simplest group of 3 members (Jesus, Mary and Joseph). Not only in the Church, families are important in many cultures too, like in Latino’s. The role of the grand parent, for example, is important for most children in these cultures.

Families had resisted these times’ shakes. The pandemic may be tough, but good moments can still be found. It is actually a bless that Michelle used to cry on Tuesdays and Fridays (as explained) and not everyday like in Yemen. I wish Covid vaccines were also provided to kids in all countries, (they are not jet legal in my place). We will eventually find a cure, or solve it somehow 😙

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I Cry on Tuesdays and Fridays
Moms are still primal screaming their hearts out
By Jessica Grose, The NYT Parenting Newsletter, March 24, 2021.

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Guatemala immigrant’s dream 🏃🏻‍♂️

They left behind homes and families toward an uncertain future crossing the border. Unfortunately, their 13 bodies (of migrants from Comitancillo, Guatemala) were found dead in the back of a pickup truck in Tamaulipas, Mexico 😔 . “It was the worst case so far”, Ms. Aguilón said 👮🏻‍♀️ and hopefully won’t repeat.

Conditions are not always the better. For many migrants who leave Central America, like those from the municipality of Comitancillo, the goal is to reach the United States, find work, save some money and send some back home.

Today I am enjoying coffee in a palm-tree cup I made myself. It turn out a nice invention. This is a new different activity –to enter the sales world– with no other purpose than designing and hopefully finding a buyer:

Like in the case of migrants, not everyday the best situations happen, not to mention the difficulties of crossing the border. Life is not perfect. There are good moments, and bad ones. As an artist. I tried to express the hard-times-feeling in this artwork:

Most of this matters are minor issues compared to the important responsibilities of embracing Catholic faith. We are limited, with a limited time on earth. So let us consider a correct scope. As Carl Sagan said, we are just pale blue dots in the universe1.

In every journey in this world–in or outside the frontier– risks abound. Like those marabouts that teach in Senegal👨🏻‍🏫, not everything is pink and purple as in infant unicorn tales 🦄.

LINKS

1 The pale blue dot, Carl Sagan (youTube video)

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Pope Francis’ Encyclical 🖊

Coincidences happen, sometimes. Pope Francis said in his prosperous encyclical Fratelli Tutti: “the sense of belonging to a single human family is fading”. During Pope’s stance in Iraq, what a coincidence, we were also traveling! Ourselves visiting Riviera Mayan’s gorgeous beaches, home of sailors and fishers. He is right: nowadays there is this trending notion of “every man for himself”, and this pandemic make us realize “we are all sailors of the same boat”.

Kiwi Blessings painting…

We should care of others a little bit more, and not just care about work, work, and more work (which is painting, for an artist like me).

For example, I am two brushstrokes away of finishing my “Kiwi blessings” painting (see img above), a scene composed with a kiwi. I won’t name it in this way, instead I’ll go for something like “horizontal bars”. Also, I already exhibit my sailfish painting, being a total success:

But as I was saying, from the religious point of view, there are more important things than showing personal canvases. Being happy is one of these things, and is mandatory in our pandemic days. It is just a matter of making room for positive thinking: love, family, fraternity and so on 😍.

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