One question that I am asked repeatedly in classes is if there should be a theme in the book that the students are working on. Usually by theme most folks mean a subject like dogs, dolls, favorite books, travel, vampires, whatever. I always respond by telling them that if they feel the need for a theme that they should follow their heart and that themes have always been extremely difficult for me. My books are about any and everything. I have made only one themed book (focusing on Frida Kahlo and my trip to see her exhibit in San Francisco) in my life. Themes stop me in my tracks and make me uncomfortable. They make me sweat and it isn't pleasant.
Last night I was thinking about my books and my pages. I was thinking about all of the different things that I've explored repeatedly on my pages. You know, the things that call to me and bubble up on my pages time and time again. I got to thinking, "These are YOUR themes."
Life, love, despair, grief, hope, all of the bits and pieces of daily life, living and survival make up me (and you.) So, dear students, I guess I have a theme that I've been exploring in my books for all of these years. It's tied and strung together (like pearls on a string) by my experiences, my reflections and my tears. Glued together with paste and sticky tape, embellished with pens and markers are all of the many pieces of me.