Monday, March 15, 2010

Attention

I keep thinking about walking through the garden with my grandmother, eyes brightening at the colors I just want to spend more time with her in the studio, looking at art. When I think about her, I’m a little kid and all these colors are something I can dream about.

My mother says the aide brought the flowers into the room with my grandmother, but she was really out of it. The aide lifted my grandmother’s head and opened her eyes, and then my grandmother was touching the flowers and smelling them. And then the aide read the card, and it said love, Matthew, and my grandmother mumbled something under her breath and it was hard to see her but it sounded like love you.

I’m crying again -- I didn’t realize the card would say love, Matthew. I’m glad my mother did that for me. I feel so much better after I cry, maybe I should cry all the time. Before, I was talking to my sister; my mother wanted her to tell me about the dishes they were looking at, my sister was choosing a set of dishes to bring back to LA, but my sister said he doesn’t want to hear about dishes, do you want to hear about dishes? He’s in the mourning stage.

It’s harder to talk to both of them at once, they’re in some other place with each other, with the whole situation. My sister says: I was more in the place where you are before I came here, but now that I’m here I just feel like she went out shopping, she’ll be right back, everything looks the same. There are all these people around. Do you want to hear what I wrote on Facebook?

But then my mother tells me about the flowers, and I’m crying again. I say thanks for sending the flowers, and my mother says no, don’t thank me, it was your idea -- it was a good idea, a great idea, Rose always loved flowers.

It’s amazing how much grief I feel, I mean it’s good that I’m feeling it but surprising too. I want to spend more time with my grandmother, even if the time I spent with her over the last 10 or 15 years was so rarely what I wanted. Last time I visited, she was even more distant, at one point I said it’s good to see you, and she said: it would be good to see you, without those earrings. Remember that? The closest we got was when we talked about her art, I offered the critical engagement of another artist and she listened. I wish we could have talked about my art too, but since I never really had that experience, I mean the experience of her listening to what I really wanted to say, what I think about more right now is when I was a little kid: then she paid attention.

2 comments:

davka said...

so beautiful. i'm crying too.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Davka, that's beautiful -- thank you :)

Love --
mattilda