Monday, May 01, 2006

To Sally, my dear mom


Some of these drawings come from letters that I wrote to my mother. She was 80 when she died last year. An incredibly free spirit, she practiced yoga, wore purple Birkenstocks, wrote her memoir, ate vegetarian, wrote anti-war letters, even went to hear Bruce Springsteen sing for John Kerry.

When my dad died in 2002, she was left to live alone for the first time in her life. Every Sunday night I sat down to write. My letters became more and more experimental and colorful. I sometimes used huge pieces of velum or wrote with cray pas, or made the letters into illustrated books. They didn't phase her.

In 2004 she developed an aggressive brain tumor. She died the same way she lived: peacefully, surrounded by five loving children, laughing, singing, and doing yoga stretches even in her hospice bed. She died six weeks after the diagnosis.

When my siblings and I started to clean out the house, I made an amazing discovery in the basement. She'd kept every one of my letters dating back to 1979! She'd always wanteded me to "do" something with my drawings, but I felt like they were very childish and not special at all.

Then I started to look through this huge, overflowing Kinko's box of my work. I understood that my letters to Sally were essentially my years of practicing with ink, crayons, and the written word. From the Other Side my dear mom helped me see myself differently. Maybe she knew with mother's intuition that I would eventually have a creative blog.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Caroline...It's Danielle from the Library. I don't how else to refer myself as besides chick from the library. I'm sorry that your mom passed away...I was not aware. I can tell by your writing that you guys were very close and she seems like a special person.

And as for your art...I don't know why you would even take lessons from someone like me. You are incredibly creative and I love your ideas and your work.

Never stop making art
Never stop thinking

You are an amazing person
-Danielle

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