A collection of ready-to-mail handwritten postcards celebrating life.
I created these images during an afternoon visit to Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo’s dear home in Coyoacan, México. The postcards that emerged are an acknowledgment of how impactful this encounter with her belongings and living quarters was for me.
The photographs are my own interpretation of a life that in so many facets mirrors my own. Each artifact became a potent reminder: It is not about how I may die; It is all about how I choose to live.
As I inscribed each postcard with a quote by Frida Kahlo it became an exercise, a meditation and a quest for appropriation of the strength and the resilience which Frida Kahlo is renowned for.
By not addressing the postcards to any specific recipient I make them available to be mailed by others. An open invitation to identification and sharing of images and text. Who will receive it? Just like my life span, I reliquish the need to know.
Did you receive #PrescribedPostcards ?
Let me know how far it traveled, by telling me where you arE.
Why did I create
Each postcards will be handed to friends, my family - During the MontH of my 45th birthday and as I reach the 2-year-mark after my cancer treatment - a milestone as any #cancerapprentice well knows.
I have also partnerEd with local cancer centers, Including the very one where I was treated hoping to leave these postcards as a medium, to those with a similar diagnosis, to express, reflect and break the isolation one feels during and post treatment - something I know too well.
It’s a simple gesture: to hold a postcard; to read it; and maybe, mail it. But life becomes very simple after a diagnosis. My shaky unreadable notes during treatment are a testament to how limited ones energy becomes.
I write these postcards for you; I write it as you; because, I am. So we can say together “Viva La Vida”, con gusto, as Frida once did.
Since we are all surviving, no matter in which stage we are in our lives, these encouraging notes will be made available to whoever wishes to receive it.
It will arrive with a blank recipient field so you can mail it to whomever you want. Even if to yourself!
Just send me self-addressed stamped envelope to receive a pre-scribed postcard:
Is your envelope big enough? Make sure it fits! The size of each postcard is: 4.13” x 5.83" inches = 10.5 x 14.8 cm
I am realizing my story might be helpful to others with a similar diagnosis. If you know someone that could benefit from my experience as a #cancerapprentice, please break the code of silence I kept, and share my story with them. Just send them this link:
I write the postcards for you; I write it as you; because I am.
Prescribed Postcards have no commercial value.
Reproductions must be credited. All images copyright 2019 © Jennifer Cabral.
To see these artifacts in person, pay a visit to Casa Azul yourself. It is a magical place, located in one of the oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods in Mexico City. Casa Azul was made into a museum four years after Frida’s death. More info at: Museo Frida Kahlo.
THE HOUSE OF FRIDA
From down the street I saw the color saturatted walls. The gate was opened. I entered into the courtyard. it was crowded As always. Winged and Crawling creatures emerged from the four-directions. The procreation of flora and fauna is almost an assault. Everything germinates and gives birth, except for you and me. Carmine and Cobalt are as intense as thorns. There is no difference between the dirt in the garden and the living-room floor. This house shoots from the ground like a trunk. It’s roots are deep. Massive.
I stormed the house looking for you in each of the rooms. I’ll wait for you here. Books comfort me. The light penetrates the shelves and attaches an aura to each object. It’s blue. The yellow tries to survive on the canvas. Even on your hospital gown the saffron color stains prevail. Complementary hues. But it’s a lost battle. The bleeding doesn’t stop. Blue gushes like blood. Yellow was also the first color to die on my palette.
The bed was made. The pillow is untouched except by the audacity of the sun entering through the same slit daily. How many times the girl traced the orbit with her fingers on the bedroom floor, before becoming the one who lodges in retinas and canvases her many deaths? You blind me.
There is a mirror in each room. Ink and makeup stand next to it. It was inevitable: You would paint yourself, one way or the other. i wish to wear Your long and adorned dresses. not your armors. Lace and velvet cloaks it all, but not your pain. The courage in your eyes makes us forget that you feel absolutely everything.
Your working tools are exposed like bones. A public exhumation. Even dissected your strength is still incomprehensible to us.
I leave the house relieved. You were not there. For once, I would be spared of your crude honesty. But as soon as walked around the corner, I knew it was you.
Pale I crossed Londres Street. I carried your whisper in my ear: “we will die young, Even though we don’t want to.”
Reminescenses at Coyoacán, México. December 19th, 2018
~ To Maria José Bretas
A CASA DE FRIDA
Da rua eu vi o muro saturado de cor. O portão estava aberto. Entrei no jardim. Como sempre estava povoado. Criaturas rastejantes e aladas emergiam dos quatro pontos cardeais. A procriação da fauna e flora são quase uma afronta. Tudo brota e Nasce. Menos tu e eu. Carmins e azuis são intensos como os espinhos. Não há diferença entre a terra do jardim e o chão da sala. EstA morada Emerge do solo como um tronco. Suas RAÍZes sao profundas. maciça.
Andei pela casa afora. Procurei por VOCÊ em cada CÔMODO. Aqui te espero. Livros sempre me confortam. A luz penetra as estantes e a tudo circunda com uma aura. É azul. O amarelo tenta sobreviver na tela. Tons complementares. Até na camisola do hospital os borrões cor de aÇafrão prevalecem. Mas é uma batalha em vão. Não há como estancar. O azul jorra feito sangue. Amarelo também era a primeira cor a morrer na minha paleta.
A cama estÁ feita e a almofada é tocada apenas pela AUDÁCIA do sol entrando diariamente pela mesma fresta. Quantas vezes a menina TRAÇOU a ÓRBITA solar com os dedos no chao, antes de virar aquela que crava em retinas e telas seus vários ÓBITOS? Me cegas.
Há um espelho em cada quarto. Um pote de tinta ou maquiagem os acompanha. inevitÁvel: Se pintaria de uma forma ou de outra. Teus vestidos longos e adornados quero vestir. Mas não tuas armaduras. Renda e veludo a tudo encobre, menos a dor. A coragem dos teus olhos nos faz esquecer que sentes absolutamente tudo.
Teus instrumentos de trabalho expostos como ossos. Uma exumação pública. E mesmo assim, dissecada, tua força continua para nós incompreesivel.
Deixo a casa aliviada. Não estavas. Seria polpada nesta tarde de tua honestidade crua. Mas assim que virei a esquina, sabia que era voce. Atravessei a Rua Londres pálida. carregava em meu ouvido o teu sussuro: “mesmo não querendo, temos que morrer cedo.”
Reminescencias em Coyoacán, México. 19 de Dezembro de 2018.
~ Para Maria José Bretas