This picture was taken of my little sister Debbie (right) and me in the summer of 1964 in Great Neck, Long Island. It has been a year and a week since Debbie took her own life… It has been a long year. She has been on my mind daily, which is nothing new, since I spoke with her often for the many years before she left. The conversation was always the same; she didn’t want to live, and no one and nothing could lift her out of the deep depression that plagued her. She felt unloved and purposeless despite the friends and family who loved her deeply; despite the veritable zoo of animals with which she’d surrounded herself. My life was consumed with worry for her sake. It was an endless stream of hours, weeks, months and years that I spent on the phone or on a plane to her place in Florida attempting to deliver solace, order, love and relief. I carry her last messages to me on my phone, unable to delete them, despite her angry ranting and delusional thoughts. Last April, when she left those two messages, the voices in her head had instructed her to cut me out of her life. She had called to tell me so. But these recordings are a part of her. I listen to them now and then.
And still she is gone. And I am here.
As I begin this blog, I cannot help but visit her memory. As a pregnant woman feels she must eat for two, I feel I must live now for myself and for Debbie- in order to make it right somehow- to bring a balance back into the equation. This is, of course delusional on my part, but it is a strange kind of comfort that allows me to go on without her. Debbie’s death was, in fact, the impetus to finally bring myself up to speed and create this website and this blog. I have been an artist for over forty years now. I am, by my own description, a bit of a laggard as far as keeping apace of all the changes that have come to photography- and more specifically, to the world of computer culture and technique which cradle it now. I suppose it is better late than never. It has been a struggle, and the learning curve has been steep for the girl who never liked machines to begin with. I am ever grateful for my patient computer/web instructor, Anne, who has helped me get to this point. In this blog, I hope to write to you who will read this, and share some of what it is that motivates and has motivated me on this personal, sometimes lonesome, sometimes loony road which has been mine to walk. I will not always be so somber, but as my father once counseled me – “in order to write, one must simply begin it.”
And so, I begin.