Sunday, May 1, 2016

Summer Reruns: Once I Was a Man


While Her New York is on vacation, and a good friend tends the beasts, encores from the beginning.

Originally posted October 29, 2009



Once I was a man.



Now I am a fucking eunuch with a cone around my head.*





*According to Dr. Gagliardi of Cooper Square Veterinary Hospital, of all the hundreds and hundreds of neutering he has done on dogs and cats, Jupiter was the first to chew off all his stitches. And then after getting fixed up again, go straight for them again.


Cooper Square Veterinary Hospital
211 East 5th Street
NY, NY 10003
212.777.2630



**
Related Posts:

The Power and the Powerless of the First Step

Jupiter's New Year's Day

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Summer Reruns: Night Streets

While Her New York is on vacation, encores from the beginning.

Originally posted October 15, 2009














This is like daylight to me. Decades of working inside cubicles sometimes never going outside during the hours of nine and five, nighttime becomes freedom and joy and play, skipping down dark and bright streets.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What Diaspora Looks Like


The room almost emptied, the chair he sits on about to travel to a new home, Jutta's reading glasses I borrowed so I could see what I was doing.

Jutta's Sony CD/cassette/radio, her fingerprints in paint on the "play" buttons and drips and smears all over the speakers, now playing different tapes and CDs while a different kind of painting is attempted.

The little one claiming the chair Jutta sat in and claimed her art.

**
Related Posts:

Exhaustion of Diaspora: Home Where My Love Lies Waiting

Sunday Memories of the First Romance in Jutta's Kitchen

The Love that Guided the Remains of the Day

When All Is Said and Done

Jutta's Kitchen: Part Two

Sunday Memories: Jutta's Kitchen: Part Three

Jutta's Kitchen Revisited

Sunday Memories: Portrait

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Memories of the First Romance
In Jutta's Kitchen


Forty-five years ago, we held hands in this room.  Sitting exactly where I was sitting taking this picture.

That grasp between us was how we pulled each other through bewildering and frightening times.  When we couldn't hold hands, a secret signal - one ring - signaled the other that a phone call was critical...

...dragging the old phone extension into the bathroom, all those long talks deep into the night...

Teenage love rarely lasts, although Romeo and Juliet took it way too far.  We had other things to do.  Our grasp and our fierce adoration of his mother, Jutta continued us on in other ways.

 And so we did. 

Those days, like this room, are now both long gone.  It is time to pack up that former home he grew up in and I visited every chance I could.

I understand we are now near sixty, not near fifteen.  Yet, as we push cartons, and wrap plates, we still talk as we did as kids.  Perhaps less about high school and more about how to grieve and still hold onto hope.

It is that old grasp and our fierce adoration of his mother, Jutta that continue us on in other ways.


**
Related Posts:

The Love that Guided the Remains of the Day

When All Is Said and Done

Jutta's Kitchen: Part Two

Sunday Memories: Jutta's Kitchen: Part Three

Jutta's Kitchen Revisited

Sunday Memories: Portrait

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Love that Guided the Remains of the Day Into the Right Hands

We didn't know how much of Jutta's life lived tucked away in her apartment's corners and her decades of paintings.

As we began to clear out closets and cupboards, all the vases and pitchers and bowls immortalized in her watercolors and oils appeared.

One by one, day by day, her community came by to take moments Jutta had painted.




Neighbors took the kitchen table and chairs Jutta had served her son and his ragtag friends dinner all those years ago.  It was the kitchen table I sat at, young and on my own, and poured out my heart about life.

And it was the kitchen table at which I sat for Jutta when she picked up her paints again after decades away and began to reclaim who she was - an artist.  



Now it was going to be a whole new breakfast, lunch and dinner nook for an irreverent cook and a working actress.

The Sisters of Assumption called to say they could take all her pots and pans and bowls and vases for their thrift store in East Harlem.


A gaggle of painters - friends of Jutta's, Art Student League folk, people I knew, people I didn't know, came from all corners of New York.  Her frames, her canvases, her paper, her palates, her paints would not end up in the dumpster. 

These artists would carry on with what she loved so passionately.

But the old wooden easel still remained.  Someone offered to take pieces of it for lumber.   If it was still in the apartment, come our last day,  I guess we would have to.


Jutta, I said, let me know what you want.

Then I went through another pile of notebooks and papers.

An hour later, I got a message from a young woman I had met years ago in a workshop.  The very workshop I found out sorting Jutta's notes in that hour that she had taken years and years and years ago.

The young woman wrote that her paintings were outgrowing her easel and she was looking for a bigger one.  Was it still available?

Jutta's Declaration:



**
Related Posts:

When All Is Said and Done

Jutta's Kitchen: Part Two

Sunday Memories: Jutta's Kitchen: Part Three

Jutta's Kitchen Revisited

Sunday Memories: Portrait

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

An Encore of Diaspora and the Exhaustion that Often Follows: Even the Baby Chair
Is a Transient Moment



Another day of clearing of Jutta's home brought back memories of letting go and going on.
 
Originally posted April 1, 2009

"The Exhaustion of Diaspora" is a week long series of what it means to leave home and seek home and sometimes even find home, but not necessarily in any particular order.



Louise had it first but I didn't know that because I was either not born yet or too little to sit up on my own.

I only knew it as my baby chair. After Louise had her own kids, there was a brief moment where Florence said something about giving it to Louise and it was one of the few times I put my foot down and said no, it was my baby chair and I wasn't sharing it with anyone. I think I was in my 40's at the time. So it continued to live by the piano.

Fifty years after it was brought into this house, I folded it up and put it in the corner. I was sending it to Louise's. Even if it did have my name tag on it. And then I looked back and realized just like the picture of Florence and Whoopi visiting...



... this was it. A brief moment that would never happen again.




**
Related Posts:

When All Is Said and Done

Sunday, April 17, 2016

An Encore of Sunday Memories When Mothers Are Remembered: What Remains


After a day of beginning the clearing of Jutta's home, we spoke of unexpected remembering.

Originally posted February 1, 2009:

What Remains


It happened in a yoga class.

Clair de Lune by Debussy.

A perfect musical selection to launch resting bodies into an hour of hell which was eventually suppose to lead to improved health.

But for me I was suddenly in a minefield of millions of years wandering around the house as her fingers broke the heart of her piano, this piece swirling through my childhood's silence, and sang her own sorrow and disappointment.

In a class of 40, the only student over the age of twenty-five, preparing to drag my fifty years from child pose toward some recovery, the vision of Florence - the young girl playing as if the piece heralded hope and love when she grew up - crushed me deeper into the mat.




**
Related Posts:

When All Is Said and Done