Wednesday was my grandmother’s memorial service. Her name was Genevieve Gibbons and she was a talented lady who brought up six girls (including my my mom, the second eldest) on her own. She was an excellent cook, a self-taught painter, seamstress, community volunteer and craftswoman (she used to knit dresses for my Barbies when I was little). She always had a beautiful garden and she loved cats, country music and children. She will be missed.
A few weeks ago, when my grandmother took a turn for the worse, I had begun to read a beautiful novel given to my band by Nightwood Editions called When I was Young and in My Prime by Alayna Munce about a young woman reflecting upon her own life by observing the lives of her grandparents. The book is a beautiful mix of poetry and fiction with poignant, sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes profound observations about love and what’s important in life. I was unable to start reading it again until Wednesday night. Now I’ve finished it, which is always a bit lovely and sad in of itself- finishing a book you’ve been enjoying.
- “Love? Though we all know the world is distended and threadbare with too many wearings and mendings and bleachings and though lately the moral of each day’s story seems to come back to how impossible it is to know another person and though I could very easily be deluding myself, I think maybe just maybe I might be feeling the shape of it rising in me lately like a kind of groundwater ever-so-slowly by fractions and increments towards places I hadn’t expected to feel it.” An excerpt.
- Here’s a clip of Alayna Munce reading a poem about a sculpture work by Giuseppe Penone in the AGO.
I’ve been doing some writing on account of the events of this week and the inspiration this book has given me. I find myself most compelled to write right when I mean to go to bed, just past the point of exhaustion, maybe when I have less control over which thoughts I’d like to invite in and observe. At least I can sleep in most days now!