Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sorting


A painting by my Grandmother, 1989.

It's been a sad and difficult week.
My sister, Dad and I sorted through my Grandmother's belongings yesterday. Many items were things I'd known in her various houses and apartments since I was a little kid. Some items had no memories for any of us. It was a hard process---sorting through what she's left behind.
Each of us kept several things that we felt strongly about.
But what to do with her purse?
What to do with her glasses?

These were things that were heartwrenching to look at and hold, because there isn't a place or person for them any more. I woke this morning to the faint beginnings of dawn and thought I now understood the oldest tradition of a funeral pyre. In letting go of a person and their earthly presence, there really are some things that need to travel with them to the next world...wherever that may be. There are things that just can't belong to anyone else. Throwing things in the trash doesn't work...it's somehow wrong and disrespectful....
Many things are going as donations to charity. Her glasses and purse...we just didn't know what to do with those... they're just too personal to send off to strangers.

So---this week is full of sadness and difficult thoughts. Losing someone puts everything---and I do mean EVERYTHING---in a new perspective. I'm thinking a lot about my friends and family and how precious they are. I'm thinking a lot about time, it's fragility and tenuousness, and how I must make better use of what is mine for however long. I've put in my notice at the low-paying job and I'm getting my ass back in the studio where it belongs.

Fromage and I had friends over last night for food and a bonfire (Fromage's Birthday! 42!) and I was standing by the fire with everyone, dark night, stars overhead in the clear, cold sky. We were all laughing at some crazy story and I was just so glad they were all there, alive and kicking and drinking beer.

It's -10F right now...too cold to go skiing, I think.
I'm in my studio for the day.

4 comments:

patcaribou said...

sorry to hear about the passing of your grandmother. i see the artistic gene runs rampant in your family.

btw, i like the new paintings. saw them during first friday. they have a very cryptic graphic novel kind of style. ever considered doing a children's book?

Eero said...

Yes, actually. I'd really like to do some illustration work sometime.

'Cryptic graphic novel'...I like that. Other folks have commented that they look like illustrated manuscript pages.

E.

johnny said...

WOW!!! She almost lived a century...Not a bad stretch of time on this planet...We should all be so lucky....I can only feel that a sense of purpose and vitality can allow a person to hold all their molecules together for such an amount of time...Just a few minutes ago I was comteplating something lying on the ground and thinking how everything around us is steep in an unseen river, and the minute we leave them exposed and helpless to the elements, how quickly they start to show signs of time...even us...It is an feat just to keep breathing and moving it seems....Hope you are doing better

bugheart said...

i too
like the idea
of a pyre.
there something
innate
in fire
that is about
letting go...
realizing something
is gone.
i dread having
to go through
the same with
my family's things.
my thoughts
are with you.