Friday, October 28, 2016

Onion Rings

If life gives you onions...make onion rings!

It's a funny thing to wear heels and a glitzy evening dress to a burger joint after seeing Andy Warhol art at a museum. Life is an amazing experience, if you let it be. Live joyfully!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Live Without Fear

I Dare You to Live a Fearless Life

By Clara G. Herrera

FearArt photo credit: Red Herrera Ellisor, a lovely daughter with voice, spirit, and intellect

First posted in the Huffington Post Blog

Fear is a powerful obsession in the human psyche. It is one of the most domineering emotions that we possess.
Some folks are even afraid of door knobs. They got a name for that: ostiumtractophobia. I, like about 12 percent of the population, am not a fan of clowns. That’s called coulrophobia. Humans are weird. We likely fear being weird too.

Fear is a paralyzing place to be. It consumes you from the inside out like a cancer devouring all the joy in life one cell at a time, and you may not even realize it.
I have made a conscious decision to live my life without fear and replace it with the courage to face whatever I have to offer the world.

Of all the emotions, scientists have determined that fear is one of the most powerful. Anecdotally, I know this from experience.

A few years ago, around the Christmas holiday, my fears came to a head like a pus-filled pimple ready to burst. I was paralyzed by terror for months and few knew it.

My marriage, that looked so lovely from the outside, was shattered, bleeding, and in need of triage. I feared I had a communicable disease. I feared being alone. But these weren’t my worst fears.

Here was my horror.

My beautiful daughter, now 18, wanted to kill herself. She’d even picked the date: Christmas Eve and mode: hanging from our balcony. We committed her for a week to a psychiatric facility, all while preparing for Christmas for my two younger children who knew something was wrong but didn’t know what.
This reality haunted my life.

 FearArt photo series taken by Red Herrera Ellisor

For months, while trying to salvage my marriage and teach elementary school children, I hid knives, scissors, medicine, and checked on my beautiful daughter’s breathing in the middle of the night. Terror. Fear. A domination of my existence. A panic attack landed me in an emergency room.

I stayed in my marriage more than year, hoping it could be saved, but knowing if I chose to leave I couldn’t until I knew my child was strong enough for me to make my exit. Finally, after frequent check-ins with her therapist, she was. So I left.

I have been shedding my fears like scaly old skin a bit at a time ever since.

When I “thought” about launching a funny Acid Neutral Art Project into the real world about healing after divorce while wearing my wedding dress from almost two decades ago in funky places, my first emotion was fear. What would my former spouse think? Would it bother him? I almost didn’t do it.

A good friend jolted me into the reality of my new life. “What do you care what he thinks?” I had to reconfigure my thinking. Yes, why was I afraid? Now, it is a constant reminder to myself, Yes, what am I afraid of?

If you think about it, why are we afraid of anything that could bring goodness into our lives? We stay in bad relationships because we fear what would happen if we left. We fear being alone. We live as shadows controlled by the trepidations and worries in life that may never come.

It is the albatross that hangs around our necks visible to no one but ourselves. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s quote: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” used to have absolutely no meaning to me.

Now, I understand.

You stand on the precipice of life. Are you going to stand there or leap fearlessly into the deep blue sea of happy?

Jump in.

The water’s fine.

Have the courage to live a fearless life. I don’t live much in fear anymore, except for the clown part. Still not a fan. They are creepy.

(Enriching Music: Could Have Been Me, The Struts; Shout, Tears For Fears)

Saturday, October 1, 2016


Photo series: FearArt

Photo Credit: Red Herrera Ellisor

These photos are a conceptual art piece about how fear governs humanity. I thought about how to visualize fear. How does one do that? Then, I thought how suffocating and debilitating fear is. People take action because they are afraid. They abstain from taking action because they are afraid. Life without fear, is a wonderful feeling.  Why fear the unknown, for it is unknown.




Poem: A Life Without Fear; The Rebirth of Venus

           Photo Credit: Red Herrera Ellisor

A Life Without Fear; The Rebirth of Venus
By Clara G. Herrera


captured in glass jars
sealed tightly with rusty metal lids
tucked away behind a cob-webbed dusty shelf to be forgotten


coiled in barbed wire, invisible blood
ripped by fences she climbed to
escape into hay fields


yanked back by hurricanes of
tempered sweet denials and lies

smeared with gunks of glue
coated once thinly then
shellac over time


heavier with children
gripped later into fists
punching at air


bounded in a Matisse
reverse Icarus


guided blindly through a maze
stumbling, trudging, into nothing
body consumed
the day ended
the wandered maze reached a precipice
A high cliff
A roaring sea below

She jumped