Drops of water
of Russian sage
on crossed paws
of locust tree
just like this
you would have said
(Requiem by Abigail Gramig)
I've wanted to write about Suzanne almost every day that I've woken up since Deceber 14th. I can't even bring myself to use a euphemism. I can't quiet my head and allow myself to face the truth. And then I tell myself, no one actually knows the truth. No one knows what happens once you're gone from this dimension. She could still be here in someway. Right?!
And so I've avoided writing about Suzanne, because this all sounds incredibly personal and painful and really should I be sharing this here?; well, I finally realized I can barely show up here without doing it. I want to talk about Suzanne, I want her name said once a day, I want to think of her and be able to bring her up, something she said or did or a memory of something that happened, I just want her remembered, talked about. But more than anything, I want to talk with her.
It's the foreverness of it all that makes my heart constrict. That makes me never want things to be totally quiet anymore. There's a movie going. Or there's music. Or both. And yet I crave it, I think about it, I wish I could quiet things down... but that's too quiet, there's too much room there to have reality set in.
I had planned on growing old with Suzanne. I could see it with clear vision. It involved family, laughter, wrinkles, grey or still dyed hair (we were forever dying our hair) and a park bench, or a porch, somewhere in Brooklyn, because we had finally accepted what we'd all resisted for years, and RK and I eventually retired there. We're telling stories to make the other one gasp! One of us is smoking, most likely. We get a phone call from my sister, K., saying she's coming to visit...
The forever part feels crazymaking.
In December, when I went to NYC for the memorial I was delirious. The service felt surreal. I was numb.
In February, when I went back with intent, to celebrate Suzanne's life and friendship: this time, I thought, I'll punch the city in the face, then I'll kiss it straight on the mouth, then I'll scream at it and ask how it could wrong me this way. And then I'd forgive it. I had to.
RK, my sister and I, as well as other good friends, traveled to the very city where we all lived some of our greatest years together with Suzanne. We would be gathering with so many more friends over the next week and reliving memories. I really didn't know what would happen. I'd hoped I'd keep it together, but I was also hoping to fall apart, fall down in the streets and, fall in love again. This was our city.
I was received, I was welcomed, I was challenged and I was rewarded.
But I missed Suzanne.
After a full night of revelry, all in the name of our friend, the next day my sister and I headed out to Suzanne's home in Brooklyn. We turned onto her block and it started to snow. That instant.
The flakes lightly floated onto our jackets and touched our faces and the moment we arrived at her door, I turned to face my sister and
As instantly as it began.
It was an amazing week, incredibly high in a non-stop movement of friends and city and talk of Suzanne. Every glass that was raised, every toast that was made, was made in her name. These people, these NY friends of ours, they made this happen. I walked by the buildings we lived in and the restaurants we ate at and did the cappuccino at our local joint ino, where we always saw someone we knew. This time it was Patti Smith.
Suzanne would've loved that.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Friday, May 25, 2012
I posted this ad on craigslist today, we'll see what happens...
A most sentimental piano must go. This piano made it's way to SF all the way from the big apple, NYC. It's first owner was a musician that lived upstairs from me in our old apartment building on Carmine Street. He loved it but couldn't take it with him when he moved. So, he sold it to his subletters for $25: A super sweet couple with a little boy, who loved trilling those keys, eventually moved out from our old building and they knew they had to pass on the piano. A good friend, who lived across the hall from me, and two flights down from this couple, took the piano for $25 and the job of moving it downstairs. He was a musician and loved this piano, often rousing the building with a good tune that floated thru the stairwell. Eventually, this neighbor and friend, filled up his little studio with a number of other life necessities and had to let the piano go. My sister jumped at the chance to get a piano for her little girl she was sure would play it night and day. So, my good friend and neighbor moved it onto the landing between our two apartments, to wait for the pick up. And there it sat. For months and months. Not unused, no, no... the multiple talented fingers that played those keys, oh my! Anyone that came thru the building in those days, anyone with an ounce of ability, sat down at that piano bench and played a tune. The old boyfriend, long gone now, of an upstairs neighbor, used to spend hours out there on the landing, playing big, beautiful songs. One holiday season, my sister was very sick, and my family came to visit, we had a big dinner in my pre-war apartment kitchen, we left my front door open and he played and played, entertaining everyone who came by. Eventually, Joe, the super of our building, came to us and said the piano had to move. My sister didn't think she'd get around to moving the piano, so I took it in. My neighbor and good friend helped me move it into my apartment, I found the perfect little wall for it to lean up against and it started it's next phase of life. I fell in love with a boy who loved to play. I would spend dreamy afternoons watching him make up songs, knowing just a tiny bit of that tune would leak under our front door, to anyone who happened past. He tried to teach me chopsticks. I showed off, playing the only two songs I know. And he kept playing and playing because he knew I loved it so.
When it came time to leave NYC and move to SF, we debated moving the heaviest thing we owned... and found we didn't want to part with it. So, the movers came, wrapped it in a blanket, and carried it out of the only building it had known for over 15 years. It found a new life here in SF. New players came thru to tickle the ivories and it's been a good instrument all along.
But, it's time. We've got to move on and so does this faithful piano.
A perfect piece for someone that loves to play, or wants their little one to learn.
So much history, so much love has gone into this little upright, now it belongs to you....
We wanted to ask $25 to keep up the passing of the guard, but are happy to let it go for free. The catch is that you must figure out how to move it out. We're up two flights of stairs and it's a heavy beast. Do-able, but heavy. Because it's a stand up, all the weight is in the back end. It's definitely seen a lot of days of wear and tear, so it's a piece to be loved and cared for. Keys are most likely out of tune, though it has been tuned since we moved here, that was a few years ago.
56 3/16" wide
with original bench
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Not only did I end up with probably the best mom in the world, but the luck continued when I got a mother-by-marriage that's really incredible to me, as well.
It started with Kick.
Kick is my mom, that's her nickname. But it's what everyone who meets her today, calls her. I started to think about all the incredible things I know and love about Kick and how lucky I am to have her as a mom. And it made me wish I knew her mom better, because she loved her Bernice as much as I love my Kick.
It put me in mind of something my friend, Nancy, wrote about: I, too, would list my mom as the number one teacher I am thankful for. She's my best friend and makes me laugh as hard as anyone does. We can talk til we're blue in the face and barely staying awake, we can hound a topic til it grows whiskers. She paints and plays tennis and throws dinner parties and holds weekly mahjong sessions and she's the only one that reminds me that though she's a certain older age that remains to be unspoken, she still feels about 17. Thank goodness she warned me, 'cuz now I know what she means.
And only my mom could give me the best gift I've ever gotten and it didn't cost a thing: One night across the dinner table, in a room filled with people, she said, "I feel like Molly is like my sister." I'll never forget the way my heart soared and our eyes filled to the brim.
I don't know why I got so lucky in the parental department, but I'm awfully glad I did.
Happy Mothers Day, Moms.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Friday, May 4, 2012
Of course, I didn't personally know Adam "MCA" Yauch, but when we heard of his death today, I remembered a time from years ago when my niece was very young and playing in the playground with my sister and they bumped into Adam and his young daughter. She came home and told me how incredibly nice this Beastie Boy was and suddenly we had a whole new respect for the boys. Since then, the Beastie Boys have become a huge part of my musical life, as I married a man who can recite most every song, with perfect timing. He doesn't even have to have an album on to reference line after line. These boys had a talent that really hasn't yet been met. It seems fitting someone would have combined that with the genius of Sesame Street.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
I'm a paper lover, with my moon in paper nerd and my rising sign in paper addict. It's with this acknowledgement I can admit I am having a whole new love affair with 8mm ideas.
A lot of people say they only send a card at christmas, or valentine's day, or on one of the other obligatory holidays when you think 'shoot, i gotta get a card!' But, I'm thinking about all the other days that come between those days, when people's mailboxes are stuffed with nothing but bills. Those are the days for 'oh man, i gotta send (someone) that card. it's sooo perfect.' That's why we here at 8mm ideas leave our cards blank inside: You know what you want to say, you just need the card to say it in. We believe the love/ snark/ juicy memories/ simple sentiment you write is just the right thing with the right card.
And that's what we're here for.
It just so happens, at this very moment, I'm so super excited about these next steps here at 8mm ideas: We've entered the 21st Century (very, very difficult for a girl who prefers to a typewriter to a computer, and pencil & paper to any button-y thing that's put in front of me) and have arrived at the book of faces.
That's right, 8mm ideas has a facebook page. I'm actually going to write here, right now, go to our facebook page and thumbs it up! Come on, it's crazy! We wanna celebrate with everyone!
And we think a great way to celebrate is to keep in touch with others and tell them something/anything/x's and o's, whatever it is on every day of the year. You know how much trouble the post office is in?! Couldn't we do a little to keep them in business? Over the years, come rain or snow, they've delivered letters and packages and, in our house at least they delivered coconut halves and license plates (yes, made into letters from my brothers). Someone in your life needs a card, and that someone or someones would benefit greatly hearing from you. So leave us a note in the comments, telling us who's day you plan to make. Stella will pick a name out of a hat this Friday and we'll send you three 8mm ideas cards to do just that with!
Thank you for all your support, dear readers, over the years. We couldn't do it without you!