Saturday, September 03, 2005

Illustration Friday: Roots

(click here to see a larger version)

My Southern Roots
(or more precisely, my Southeast Texas Roots)

The horrific events of this past week have me thinking about a lot of things - like my priorities, and how important family and friends are. When I saw that the topic for this week's Illustration Friday was "Roots", I immediately thought of my own roots in the southern Gulf Coast region and the little things that make it so special to me to this day: the beach, big southern hair, good old Tex Mex food, and sweet iced tea.

I was born in Beaumont, Texas (near the southern Louisiana border) to parents whose families hail from Louisiana. I spent all of my school years in Houston, and though we didn't visit Louisiana too often, my family was still deeply steeped in the Cajun culture, at least as far as cuisine was concerned. Gumbo and rice, red beans and rice, anything and rice, were staples in my home. My grandmother had a lovely soft Cajun accent that I can still hear echoing in my mind today. I am thankful for my family, and our traditions, and good food, and plenty of laughter - these were the hallmarks of my modest but wonderful childhood.

Although I make my home in Colorado these days, my roots still go deep into the South of my memory - they will be a part of me forever; they helped shape who I am today. I know my roots are still there because I felt them ache so deeply this week for the places of my childhood, and the people with whom I share a heritage. I am touched by their suffering, and moved by their bravery. May God bless them all!


27 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:47 PM

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  2. I like this illo and the sentiments expressed.
    Sadly we often don't appreciate what we have till its gone or threatened

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  3. a very inspiring piece both in art and words. years ago, i have experienced typhoons that took away some kids who i knew. and i understand how you may feel. but thinking about it sometimes, tragedies caused by nature are a way of levening the planet maybe. its just a matter of being in the time and place where its destined to be. tmy prayers are for all those struct with natural disasters (even in other places, like the tsunamis).

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  4. Nice reflection for that terrible past week, thanks for sharing your stories !

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  5. The south does shape you, doesn't it?

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  6. I liked your illustration. Your idea was similar to mine. It's interesting how a one-word theme can generate so many different ideas, and even the similar ones are different in their style, execution, etc. That's what I like about I.F.

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  7. This is a really nice post Becky! It is so heartbreaking, the news was so shocking. I felt so helpless.

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  8. Great post, both illistration and write up.

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  9. nice to know where you came from and knowing rice is also a part of your meals. beans and rice, i like them so much.

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  10. :)
    really cute your illustration!
    thank u for your comment.

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  11. Great Ill. girl! Have a good holiday!

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  12. What a great illo to show how you feel about where you come from.

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  13. Oh, your interpretation and story are really interesting...when I submitted this theme to Illo Friday, I was thinking of my trip to Louisiana and wonderful Cajuns people I met there seven years ago...I'm from Belgium, my mother tongue is French and it was really funny and interesting to meet people who have same roots as me but spoke French with such a different accent. Now, after this horrible disaster it's more and more meaningful to me : it's really important to share our differences and to put back solidarity between people all over the world at the first plan!

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  14. Great illustration, Becky. You never disappoint.

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  15. I love your interpretation, and I love how you chose to illustrate it. You've created a really neat contrast between the tree, the earth, and its root and the little "puzzle pieces" that symbolize your various roots. Once again, a very meaningful illustration!

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  16. Anonymous9:13 AM

    We share the southern roots! I think I'm often surprised at how deeply the roots run...especially after living away for so long. But I have a true appreciation for being able to walk into a restaurant, greet my big-haired waitress, and order red beans and rice, and sweet tea!!
    Love ya twinks.

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  17. Hi Becky. Again you did a wonderful job about "roots". Lots of colour and expression. I specially enjoyed learning more about your roots in the wonderful text you wrote. Let me join you in the preayer for those whose roots have been broken with Hurricane Katrina. May God bless them all and take care of their needs.

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  18. I love roots illustration, sweeten ice tea, big hair...I can relate to all of them, having Texas roots myself. That is great. And I thanks for sharing your story regarding south. It is heartbreaking, almost too sad to grasp.

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  19. Anonymous3:11 PM

    Nice. I like that you made it very personal.

    wynlen

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  20. cutie illo!

    visit mine in www.coffee81.blogspot.com

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  21. Nice illustration, you express your feelings in a valuable way..It is enjoyable to read your little stories:)

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  22. Going back to your roots - cute! Does that make you the tree in this picture? :)

    This has a really nice air! I've liked that this theme has had a lot of people looking back at their own past and where they are in the world, and none does it better than yours.

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  23. I really like how this looks like a family tree with memories and objects of your roots.. The bright colors are perfect with it too! Mmmmm, sweet iced tea. *drools*

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  24. you must have had a very happy childhood.. lovely illo!

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  25. Oh, I love your interpretation! Very nostalgic, and the illustration itself was very nicely done. I like the way you made each thing (the sweet tea, big hair, etc.) pop. Cute!

    I also liked how you tied the story of your family roots in with the current sadness along the Gulf Coast. The memories of Louisiana cuisine/heritage in your family was a fitting tribute.

    (By the way, thank you so much for the nice comments you left for me. I'm glad you did, because now I have another wonderful weblog to visit, too!) :)

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