1/14/2018

Dear Stuart,

What was it that made today feel so good? That guided me towards patience and tolerance in the morning chaos rather than frustration and grumpiness? That guided my grandpa towards happy nostalgia? That awoke him just in time for lunch together? Whether it be answered prayers, a good night's sleep (for me, anyways), the shining sun over sparkly snow or a combination of all three, I am grateful.

I woke up this morning with a strange fear that if we don't record all the jokes we know they will be lost forever. Everyone always forgets them! I spent the day with the intention of writing down every joke I can remember, you know, just in case. I didn't end up doing it.

My Nonno told me an epic story over lunch about the first car his family ever owned. It was a Model A that they bought off a neighbor for "I don't know, peanuts, maybe $50". The neighbor was using it at the time as a chicken coop. It is hard for me even to imagine the world in which he used to live; but it gave me some deepened perspective and clarity into some of the nuances of Nonno.

I was reminded of Yvonne Rainer, a performance artist, filmmaker, revolutionary, really. I had a black and white photo of her pasted on my bedroom door at the Avery Creek House you may remember. I was able to see her perform at the Dia: Beacon outside New York City, and it was one of the most significant and profound performances I have ever seen. And yet, I haven't thought about it in quite some time. Until today, that is.

The dance, in my memory, began with a beautiful young girl with curly red hair. She was performing a piece that was originally performed by Ms. Rainer, who was in the audience. It was beautiful, elegant, interesting and seamless. The kind of dancing that takes you somewhere else, that makes you forget that you're watching a person. After some time, Yvonne Rainer got up out of her chair and danced closely behind the girl, with her, but not with her; fixing her each and every move just a tinge. There was some tension, some disagreement, some loss of elegance and fluidity, but it was all a part of it. It was still beautiful, and even more interesting. It enraptured me.

Today felt like that. My time here kinda feels like that. Sometimes Yvonne Rainer is my grandpa; fixing things here and stopping me there, throwing me off a beat. Sometimes she is my mom, sometimes she is me. Sometimes there is tension, disagreements, loss of fluidity. But it's all a part of it. It's all a necessary part of being a child of somebody in this world. 

I think that's all I can say right now. What a nice memory to remember. 

I love you so much Stuart! xoxo

Emily