A: The first person who comes to mind is my favorite aunt, Teddie. In 1997 she was headed to northern California to attend a three-year-plus silent Tibetan Buddhist retreat at her teacher’s center. Teddie offered me her West 13th Street 6th-floor walkup apartment to live in while she was away. At the time I was based in Alexandria, VA and had just had my first solo exhibition at an important West 57th Street gallery, Brewster Fine Arts. I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the limited Washington, DC art scene, had outgrown everything it had to offer, and felt New York pulling me towards new and exciting professional adventures.
Teddie, recognizing my talent and ambition, made it possible for me to afford to move to New York. She had practiced Tibetan Buddhism for 35 years and was soon to become a Buddhist lama. She had an extraordinary mind and thought deeply about life. We used to talk for hours. Teddie was 7 years older and seemed more like a sister than an aunt. Indeed, she was my first soul mate. (I have been extremely fortunate to have had two such relationships in my life. The other was my late husband, Bryan).
Unfortunately, dear Aunt Teddie died at the age of 67 of breast cancer. Recently, on September 25 I honored her life in a short ceremony on a mountain cliff in Leh, Ladakh (India). A Tibetan Buddhist monk recited prayers as he placed her ashes among the rocks.
Comments are welcome!
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
These paper cut-outs have their very pure existence, although they escape from your hands, from your scissors. Their paper matter with the fine play of light on their flexibility, the physical aspect of this flexibility, all combine to make something miraculous which loses its essence when it is placed flat. But it retains its essence when it is fastened to the wall with pins by Lydia. The paper then keeps the life I am talking about and undergoes incessant changes.
Matisse: A Second Life, 2005 Editions Hazan, James Mayor translator of the English version
Comments are welcome!