On Aunts & Impending Aunthood

December 9th, 2013 § 0 comments

At a recent gallery opening a friend and I were discussing our impending entry into aunthood as both our brother’s wives are pregnant this winter, and I exclaimed half joking, “it’s a lot of pressure!” Obviously being an aunt is like being a babysitter compared to the pressures and weight of motherhood, and yet what lead me to the thought is how much I remember of my own aunts. My mom is the middle of three sisters, and while my aunts weren’t around as much as I hope to be for my already adored niece, I still have vivid memories of them reaching back as far as I can remember. Though they didn’t loom as large in my life as my grandfather or great grandmother, who together filled the void of having one grandpa and no grandmothers, my sporadic memories of them range from the silly to the profound. Anyone you remember like that, who is a permanent if inconsistent fixture throughout your life, has played a role in shaping who you are, and the idea of being the shaper rather than the shaped is a daunting one. Thinking about what my niece might remember about me made me rethink what I remember of them.

grandpas house

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Tennis: A Healthy Obsession

October 24th, 2013 § 0 comments

In your loneliness, your preoccupation with an enduring new reality, you want to be understood in a way you can’t be. -Meghan O’Rourke 

It all began with my old boss. I’d moved to New York City a few years prior, and was working as a retoucher for a fashion company under an eccentric New Yorker who used to work for Rolling Stone. A sucker for anything new and different, I remember her talking about visiting the US Open one afternoon at work. Knowing nothing at all about tennis or the US Open, I didn’t even know what a Grand Slam was, it still sounded like something both local and necessary to do. The last behavioral remnant of being the youngest child, I still can’t stand being left out. I remember buying tickets to the quarterfinals, and trekking out to Flushing on a gray, rainy September morning with my somewhat new boyfriend in tow. I remember the massive size of Arthur Ashe stadium, the largest and windiest tennis arena in the world. We looked at the main draw and my significant other tried to make sense of the sea of names in front of us: the men’s match of the day featured Rafael Nadal. What I remember of that first visit is getting to see exactly seven minutes of tennis before the rain began. We spent the day at the Open regardless, shopping, drinking champagne and enjoying the grounds.

BILLIE JEAN KING (USA)

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7 Years: Dreaming of Ghosts

September 16th, 2013 § 1 comment

I always thought dreaming of the deceased would be wonderful, and there was a substantial period of time, many years ago, when I used to wish for it. For those dream moments I wouldn’t realize it wasn’t real, my mind would recreate you as I remember, just as it would formulate entirely new memories. We’d be talking about something we’d never discussed, or be someplace we never went. For that alone, any disappointment suffered upon waking would be worth the moments of ignorance and indulgence. In all the years that you’ve been gone, however, I’ve never been able to force a single dream. Now that I don’t wish for it, now that it’s no longer on my conscience mind, you seem to have slipped through into the cracks of my subconscious, and not too long ago I did dream of you.

musician-montpellier

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6 Years: Death & Objecthood

September 17th, 2012 § 0 comments

With every year that passes I try my best to negotiate a new kind of truce with your death, to find peace in the lingering and everlasting grief, and each year it’s a different kind of truce. Six years now—I can hardly believe it—since you shattered my 22-year-old world, one that was cozily wrapped up in a kind of childish innocence about what life could, would, or should be. My childhood ended, and all things associated with it, mainly my youthful marriage, that lonely day years ago when you left. It’s not the immediate heartbreak of grief that scars us, but living with it year after year that leaves traces we can’t erase. Like the slow process of aging, the subtle shifts in our body’s abilities, loss etches lines that are just as permanent.

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Art School & Arguing

July 15th, 2012 § 0 comments

It was pointed out to me recently that I love to argue, and that I tend to engage with every subject like it’s worth the serious critical thought I give it. My poor rebuttal to this observation was, “well at least it makes things interesting!” The incredulous look on my friends face seemed to say something along the lines of, “what’s wrong with a little silence once in a while?”

Realizing shortly after the words had left his mouth that he was right, I wondered what happened. After all, I was that silent child playing by myself in the backyard for the first ten to fifteen years of my life. My first thought was that it must be some kind of family trait. We used to tell my older brother that he should become a lawyer because of his gift for arguing his way out of chores. Then I realized something much more obvious was to blame; art school.

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