Saturday, May 3, 2008

today in other people from my past

Mark DH. He once whisked me out of Seattle in the middle of a panic attack. I once walked the Alaskan tundra with him. We once almost got married.

He makes these incredible pastel artworks filled with luscious dreaminess and visceral aliveness. He has been animating them lately. This one's my favorite. Proboscis Planet:

You can see more of his animated artworks on the baconwafer channel. I will see Mark in September, and we will need only to sit together and say a few words to be happy.

Kirsten LD. She once kissed me. I once visited her in England when she had three kids and I a one-year-old. We once hitchhiked to get to the Glastonbury Festival.

She just produced a BBC radio programme about Child Preachers in America. I saw her last March when she was passing through en route to Spokane while working on the show. We sat on the floor at DIA, curled up head-to-head and had one of those "we've-only-got-an-hour-so-let's-not-speak-of-things-that-don't-matter-and-I-love-you-soooo-much" talks.

I met Mark and Kirsten at the same time, second semester junior year. 1988. Pacific Lutheran University. A course titled Feminist Theology brought a ragtag group of us together that year, and it became a magical awakening time. The kind you can only have when you are young and open and shy and ready and full of longing and lust for life. Sometimes it's hard to believe that 20 years have passed since then. Twenty fucking years!

If it happened once, and you can imagine it, then it can happen again. (That's what Azar Nafisi told the crowd at Shove Chapel when I asked her what UPSILAMBA meant to her.)

I think Alzheimer's is about the scariest thing imaginable. I mean, really, who would we be without our memories? Without our sacred moments? Our daydreams?

There are catalysts in our lives. Sometimes a person and a place and a time come together in such a way that we are forever changed. And we are catapulted into other orbits or higher planes.

What does upsilamba mean to you?


Mark said...

Sue, Thanks for the trio-reunion. I can summon the passion of youth as well as the intellectual being-at-the-threshold-of-the-world thoughts. We did walk on the tundra, but you neglected to mention that we failed to be persuaded by others to eat raw salmon awashed on the rock beach. That's better left for nori rolls!

BBC said...

Religious studies.. *rolls eyes*


Kirsten said...

Sparkly-eyed Sue. Stetched across a continent and an ocean, we're held together by something more than memory, but that something is equally insubstantial - maybe upsilamba is as good a description as any. Thanks for the new word! Don't be too scared of Alzheimers, at least not in terms of your cherished memories. It affects short-term memory first. The best description of it I've heard was from a neurologist who said it's like radomly removing the photos from each page of an album, starting with today and yesterday, then slowly moving backwards in time.

Cindy Fey said...

Feminist Theology? To me, those are two words that sound strange together. But I am so happy they brought you good friends and memories.

ReesePie said...

I don't know how you found me, but I'm glad!

suesun said...

MDH-I would never eat raw salmon, even in nori rolls!

bbc-one should never throw the baby out with the bath water.....

KLD - Yes.

Cindy - reading religious traditions from a woman's perspective is amazingly eye-opening, but I do understand what you mean

Reese - any friend of Jim's is a friend of mine.

Mark said...

Sue she won't eat sushi.

Happy mother's day to Sue and Kirsten.

BBC said...


Rebecca said...

"There are catalysts in our lives. Sometimes a person and a place and a time come together in such a way that we are forever changed. And we are catapulted into other orbits or higher planes."

Amen. And I have found that this phenomena isn't limited to one's twenties...And the thought of those individuals and places can make me weep for the joy and the grief of them.