Thursday, October 11, 2007

Remember me...

I have hit that "Remember Me" button every time I log onto my Blog, but it never remembers me. Do you think that means anything symbolic? Am I simply using this as my journal and sending this word smithing into the void? Probably. Sigh.

I'm a little bit sad today. The last two years has been so much about sadness and mourning. It is unbelievable, even to me sometimes, but I really do feel so much grief about the demise of my marriage. I loved the man and still do, and yet I really do know that our problems were too big for me to fix, and he had no interest in changing or evolving with me. It makes me sad. There were good moments interspersed with the really horrific ones, and we have two beautiful children who will forever be split, as I am split between my parents. It's just sad. That's all.

This weekend coming up is a film making weekend in Boulder, where I live, largely because I talked that man into taking a risk and starting this festival that is happening. I'm now completely cut off from it even though I really believe in its tenants if not its Director. A 7 minute film, using in-camera editing only, and utilizing 5 of 11 items from a list received at 9 pm tomorrow night must be made by each entrant in only 24 hours. It's fun and creative and I loved being a part of it. Sigh. It's hard to compare letting go of that experience with my children, but maybe it is like letting go of a pet.

Then I also found out that my Granny died on Monday. She was really my mother's aunt, but she was a grandmother to me most of my childhood, and I really did call her Granny. She was probably one of the most elegant women I've ever known. She was compact and held herself like a movie-star. She smoked incessantly, dyed her hair until the last 15 years of her life, had a closet when I was little like a dry cleaner's rack with a button she could push to bring her clothes around and to her, rather than climbing into its dark recesses as I loved to do.

I remember watching her put cold cream on. She would wrap her head in a towel, always wearing a deliciously soft nightgown or robe, and then apply this thick layer of cold cream on her face, leaving room around her mouth and eyes. She would smoke a cigarette, and get ice water for the bedside table. I remember the sound of the ice clinking as she brought it to me, her face ghostly white and shiny.

This is a woman who was hyper-critical of my behavior and appearance all the time, as I recall and yet, achingly encouraging when I actually did do something right. She told me I was a heck of a cook because I stirred the can of chili I was heating up, instead of letting it scorch. She taught me to swim, and she gave me an example of fearlessness when you lose everything you hold dear due to unforeseen circumstances. She never let poverty undo her sense of pride in simple order and beauty. Going from a large ranch house to a tiny apartment did not undo her sense of responsibility to her elders either. She took in her great Aunt for a third of the year, even when she felt pinched and was not necessarily enjoying the preferences of her life coming to bear.

There are many stories to tell about Granny. This is only a beginning, a first penny in the jar. I don't think she really knew how much I loved her. We were often at odds, and I can hear in my head the way she would say, "Now, Amanda..." followed by some rapier poke in my self-esteem. Yet, in spite of what she said to me, she was often present for me in a way no one else in my life was or could be. She gave me a sense of pride and continuity about my Mom's family, and for that I will always be grateful.