The Daily News

LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pictures Speak Louder Than Words

I was going to blog about the recent Oprah episode on DI or the even more recent Tyra Banks episode that was the cause of the brouhaha last month. But I don't know if it's productive or a good use of my time. I'm not even sure the two hours of television I watched were a good use of my time. Someone in a comment said it best when they spoke about the medium of talk shows as the purveyor of solid information. I don't expect to get philosophical statements from my happy meal at McDonalds and I don't expect day time television to be able to present a realistic survey of the human experience. I think they go for unhappy over at peace, dynamic over realistic, and argumentative over flexible. So I got exactly as I expected from both places.

Instead, I will tell you about a book I found at Amazon. Actually, I ended up finding a bunch of books by the same author--Carmen Martinez Jover--who is a very cool Mexican artist and writer who has produced several books about infertility. And then wrote her and spoke with her about her art. She is such a warm person, working hard to not only educate those outside the experience on the complex emotions felt by those within the experience but also to connect with other stirrup queens and create a visual representation of the common emotions felt within infertility and loss.

Infertility is portrayed often in her work as empty chairs and she explains on this video that the chairs represent that person missing from her table. She states: "I painted these emotions as chairs and people would say, 'Carmen, why do you paint chairs?' Well, all I wanted was another chair at my table. I wanted three chairs. I wanted someone to look after. Someone to care for. Someone to love."

Her videos are just as interesting and emotional and truthful as her paintings.

It started when I found her book A Tiny Itsy Bitsy Gift of Life, a children's story explaining egg donation. She sent me a PDF of her book A Recipe of How Babies Are Made which reminded me of an even more broad-minded version of the popular "how did I get here" book, Where Did I Come From. And she has a book of art and words for adults called I Want to Have a Child.

I was so touched by her art and words, and I loved this thought she wrote when we were emailing back and forth: "But I had no information, so I fight for this human side to infertility and help people get informed on infertility, adoption and life as a couple. I believe information takes away the fear and helps you make the correct decision....your heart guides you."

This, of course, is true and it's the reason we each share any information we have with one another. These books are more useful than talk shows, her art more emotional than words, her two minute videos more informative than those other hour long programs.


Barb said...

GORGEOUS! I want some of her artwork!

Tammy's Thought Pattern said...

I like the analogy of her paintings. It is very fitting.

Thank you for sharing.

ms. c said...

Beautiful... the images, the words and your post. Thanks for drawing my attention to this amazing woman.

Kathy V said...

Thank you for sharing this information. I like hearing these stories rather than the Tyra wolf in sheep's clothing kind of stories anyway. Somebody who is informing people through art and literature what it is really like to live with loss or infertility. We should make more of an effort to make sure these are the kind of things get out not just to this community but others. I am going to go look for some of those books you talked about. They seem very meaningful.

Somewhat Ordinary said...

I checked out her site and I love it! Thank you for sharing this with us. I'm planning on ordering her books!

Deathstar said...

You might might to check out this blog for the faces of infertility. Not artwork, but very funny.

SarahSews said...

How beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

Fertilize Me said...

Wow thank you for sharing that. I love her paintings

TeamWinks said...

Love the artwork! Thank you for sharing her work with us.

Tara said...

I like the empty chair analogy.

I really relate to that.

katd said...

This is amazing. When we were at the height of our infertility pain we took a trip to Mexico. I have a photo I took of this huge expanse of ocean. I can remember sitting there staring out at the sea just repeating over and over, "heal, heal, heal." I needed so badly to have some sort of healing take place, and every single time I see that picture, I'm reminded of our remarkable ability to absorb grief and continue to live.
I'm very exciting to look into these books.

Bea said...

"I don't expect to get philosophical statements from my happy meal at McDonalds and I don't expect day time television to be able to present a realistic survey of the human experience."

I've been meaning to say, I thought this was a very wise insight. If only more people were able to keep this in mind as they watch.


Julia said...

That's a stunning piece of art in the post. Are there prints of Carmen's work available for purchase? I never thought there is art to represent what's missing in our house, but this is just right.
And thank you for pointing out the books too-- I will see about buying one for my daughter. Even though we didn't end up using ART to conceive her (will probably need to next time), it's never too early to raise a compassionate human being, right?