Sunday, May 30, 2010

Legacy

I’m getting more and more exhausted. I know I just got back from a long long trip, and when that happens I always feel awful, but I’ve passed the one-week mark and I told myself I wouldn’t think about how awful I feel for a least a week, for a least a week I wouldn’t think about that but now I’m thinking about it. And if there’s an arc then it’s definitely going down, I mean I’m feeling worse and worse.

So then I’m on the phone with my mother, she’s telling me about arranging all my grandmother’s art and artifacts for auction. I want to hear the details, but somehow the details just make me sad. Sad like I can’t speak, I mean I just get more and more exhausted and that adds to the more and more exhausted that I already feel, and eventually my mother calls me back, to ask if there’s anything else I wanted to talk about. She’s calling me back because I told her I didn’t like it when she asked me a question, but then changed the subject if I didn’t sound positive. Like when she asked me about my talk in Eugene, and I told her it was really draining, but she wanted to hear about how much energy it gave me. It didn’t give me energy -- I mean there were beautiful moments, like when someone said: That’s Revolting is what made me trans, I mean made me realize I was trans. Or, someone else who told me: you’re kind of my idol, and I want to follow in your footsteps, but I don’t exactly know how.

Those were beautiful moments that I didn’t even get a chance to tell my mother, because she changed the subject, and then I felt shut down. But now she’s asking me, not about that but about my grandmother, my grandmother’s house, and I guess it’s because of two things really -- one is the legacy of her art, her artwork, and the other is the childhood space her house holds in my heart -- and I sense the dismantling of both of those things. Even if it’s not literal, there’s literally the dismantling of her house, and her possessions, and all that loss builds up inside me. I don’t tell my mother that my immediate fantasy was that we could make my grandmother’s house into an art space, someone could live there for free and in exchange they would keep everything in order, and then people could go there for a month or six months or a year to make art. I mean, it was already set up for visual art, with such an extensive studio. It’s not the most convenient place, and it would take a lot of work to keep up the space, but still that was my fantasy. I let it go right away because I knew that idea wouldn’t make any sense to my mother -- it would have preserved this childhood space for me, and created space for other people, and that would have mattered but I’m not sure we could have done it anyway. Although I guess that’s what I would’ve tried to do. Maybe I’ll call my mother back, just to tell her.

2 comments:

kayti said...

wow those were wonderful moments. You have such an impact on people

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Aw, thank you, my dear!!!

Love --
mattilda