poetry on Odyssey: Home

poetry on Odyssey: Home

Home is where you are comfortable.


I'm from a small town in East-Central Illinois and I am very proud of my town, but at the same time I could see where we could do with some improvements. But, I love home enough to admit that I wish the town would allow for improvements instead of basking in the glory days and allowing everything to crumble around us.

Home with your cornfields glowing in the late evening glow

Home with your rolling rows of soybeans shifting in the wind

Home with your smells of barbecue in the summer

Home with your sounds of late-night parties, Selena blasting down the block

Home is driving by someone you may not know but waving anyway because it's just impolite not to

Home is getting pulled over and having a casual conversation about the officer's kids while they ticket you

Home with your autumnal smells of chili and cornbread waiting when I come in from raking the jewel-toned leaves

Home is a visit to the grocery store where you run into your old teachers and they have that look of pride on your face as you tell them how well you are doing

Home is not being ashamed to tell people where you are from (or that you high school mascot is a cob of corn)

Home is where you are loved for who you are and not what you could give

Home is where you are comfortable

Home is a small town in a nowhere county in the Midwest

I love Hoopeston and I hope that it loves me back. I know that with all the travels and endeavors that life may bring, home is where I will always want to come back to, even if purely to replicate the feeling of a warm, ratty security blanket.

Cover Image Credit:

Andrea Lile

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10 Reasons Why Frida Kahlo is Iconic

A spotlight for a woman deserving of it

Frida Kahlo de Rivera was an artist born in 1907 in the city of Coyoacán, Mexico. She is celebrated for her work, primarily self portraits, which boasted originality with every stroke. Kahlo expressed her deep rooted Mexican and indigenous culture in every single piece of hers. Recognizable by her bold eyebrows and her eccentric attitude, Frida Kahlo is the artist to know.

1. Frida Kahlo defied society's beauty standards

Frida Kahlo was radical in every sense of the word. She took it upon herself to purposely darken her facial hair as a statement. Kahlo didn't care to fit with the norm, she subverted to the concept of femininity and the idea that beauty meant having only Euro-centric features.

2. Frida Kahlo was un-apologetically bisexual

Frida Kahlo and Chavela Vargas, c.1950 - Musetouch Visual Arts Magazine

Kahlo ventured into different parts of herself quite often. In her time, women weren't accepted as being individuals who could be fluid with their sexuality. Of course, Frida Kahlo didn't care to subject to such restrictions. She said to have had a lot of lovers including Josephine Baker, Dolores del Rio, Paulette Goddard and Maria Felix as well as the prestige American painter, Georgia O'Keeffe.

3. She had exotic animals as pets

Frida Kahlo and her pet deer, Granizo, 1939, photograph by Nickolas Muray

The artist incorporated her animals in many of her portraits. She owned a spider monkey, a fawn, birds, and a dogs throughout her lifetime.

4. Her artwork is extremely genuine and raw

The Two Fridas by Frida Kahlo (1939)
Frida Kahlo suffered from a lot of pain and downfalls due to a bus accident she was involved in as a young girl. It resulted in a severe spine condition and a lot of time laying in bed immobile. She painted as a pastime and deeply channeled her roots and hardships. The painting above showcases her internal thoughts after having suffered several miscarriages due to her physical condition.

5. She never cared for gender roles

Sometimes the abstract artist cross-dressed as a political statement. "She dressed like boy with shaved hair, pants, boots, and a leather jacket" in attempt to create an eye-catching attraction that's hard to miss.

6. Kahlo survived an accident that should've killed her

Frida Kahlo after an operation, 1946

Although Frida suffered a lot, she endured that pain until her late 40's. Frida Kahlo was involved in a bus accident that ending up essentially ruining her spine, because of the lack of proper procedures and medical equipment at the time. She was diagnosed with scoliosis, and she had consistent problems with her hips and knees. Kahlo spent a lot of time in a wheelchair or on bed rest where she created some of her best work.

7. She looked to herself for inspiration

Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird by Frida Kahlo (1940)

Frida Kahlo stated “I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.” She looked to herself to create beauty out of the abyss she found herself in.

8. She lived in a blue house

What is now The Frida Kahlo Museum was once Frida Kahlo's family home in Mexico City. It was nicknamed "La Casa Azul" or "The Blue House" because of it's beautiful vibrant shade of blue. Frida spent the majority of her life in that house, and so personal objects are left in their place as a look into her personal life.

9. Her long-term spouse was another artist

Although Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo had a rough marriage, she loved him deeply. Kahlo was found herself separating from Rivera only to unite once more. She wrote about him and painted about him. One of her journal entries includes "I love you more than my own skin and even though you don’t love me the same way, you love me anyways, don’t you? And if you don’t, I’ll always have the hope that you do, and i’m satisfied with that. Love me a little. I adore you.” He wasn't good for her, and she was aware, but ultimately that didn't seem to matter.

10. Frida Kahlo de Rivera is unlike any other artist

Frida Kahlo with a Portrait of Her Father

Frida Kahlo is truly remarkable. She acknowledged her insecurities and her flaws, and she created life and beauty out of them.There will never be an artist with such imperfect grace or original distinction.

Cover Image Credit: Lucienne Bloch

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People Are Going "M.A.D." For This Innovative Art Bar Experience In Orlando

And you will be, too!


M.A.D as in, Music, Art, Drinks, of course.

Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, this new art bar experience in Hunter's Creek is the COOLEST THING EVER. M.A.D is an evening of guided painting, top-of-the-line drinks, and great music. And gosh, I had the best time.


So M.A.D is basically an adult painting class, but in the most relaxed environment, I've ever experienced. You basically come in, sit down at a paint station, and a local artist instructs you through an original painting, all while enjoying drinks and music!

The event is only $25 for your canvas, the supplies and paint you use, and the drinks you sample. I went for their Valentines-themed event, "M.A.D Love," where they were offering glasses of Scavi & Ray, the number-one prosecco in the world, apparently, alongside a rosé, Moscato and other romantically-themed wines that you could enjoy while you painted. I felt so elegant and also, bouji af.

But this particular M.A.D event was hosted at the Tavern in Hunter's Creek, so there was also a full bar available with all of the Tavern's regular craft and specialty drinks. Plus a food truck. And you absolutely cannot go wrong with a food truck.


The artist leading the class was a local abstract artist and art instructor, Michelle Melendez who was so incredibly encouraging and fun throughout the whole night. She was so sweet with helping each person through each step while staying incredibly motivating and reminding the class that "art is art," and "everybody's won't look the same, but that's the best part!" She's the kind of cool girl that I'd want to be friends with but was never cool enough to actually be friends with.

Plus this girl was magic, actual magic. If anyone messed up, she'd come over with paper towels and her fingers-- yes, her fingers!-- and somehow fix the whole mess. Dude beside me accidentally smudged his yellow sunset with navy blue paint, Michelle came over and used her already paint-covered hands and fixed the whole thing. Sorcery.


Throwback music played throughout the night while we painted and live music followed. The event seemed to be mostly attended by regulars, so the environment was warm and friendly and SO relaxed. The idea of going to a painting-class-type-thing was alluring, but I was pleasantly surprised by the laid back atmosphere that made the whole event comforting and genuinely fun. The event lasted almost three hours too, so there was plenty of time to paint without feeling rushed. And in the end, I actually liked my final product!

Showing my boyfriend my finished masterpiece.

So if you're feeling a little "M.A.D," you should definitely book yourself a spot for the next painting sesh here. Invite your friends! Let's all pretend we know how to paint while secretly only being there for the drinks.

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