“We Hammer Out Tunes to Make Bears Dance When we Long to Move the Stars”


My maternal Grandmother had exquisite handwriting. It’s art in and of itself. Absolutely meticulous.

She was a fascinating woman; eccentric, impossible, a voracious reader, a loner, an athlete, among many other things….. She was a swimmer in Billy Rose’s “Aquacade” in the 1940’s.

But above all, she was an artist. She produced painstakingly precise pieces of artwork.  She was definitely unique, something to be admired from afar; a distant glance was often the only thing she had to offer, her cat eye liquid liner always right on point. Social visits were kept brief, yet she possessed a graceful manner.

I would say something, like “she will be sorely missed,” or maybe rave about her commitment to community, or how many lives she touched, but it wouldn’t be true…. She didn’t much care for people and chose instead to spend her life with dogs– and who can really blame her? Humans are highly complicated, while dogs typically aren’t.  It’s a safe kind of love and it’s genuine.

I don’t fault her for the way that she was, though some family members certainly do. I don’t know how she could have been anything other than herself.

I reserve judgement, and accept her for who she was.

She intrigued me, but I never felt she owed me a relationship of any kind. It just didn’t even occur to me that she should want to see me more often; I was just happy on rare occasion to flip through glamorous old photo albums and hear about the Aquacade, and what it was like moving from Ohio to New York at such a young age.

I’m sorry that you’re gone, you rare beautiful bird.  No more pain. <3

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