This week i celebrated my birthday with a visit from my BFF S. It was so great to have a good friend here and have a few days to hang out and catch up. I crave time with friends and having her here helped me feel less alone. On my birthday we went into the city to the Guggenheim to see a show by Gego (Getrud Goldschmidt), an artist I had never heard of but now won’t ever forget. She was a German Jew who escaped to Venezuela before the war and lived most of her life in Caracas. She didn’t start making art until her early forties and continued working up until her death at 82, so she was a later in life artist, which I found inspiring. The work was gorgeous and well suited to the Guggenheim’s unique architecture.
After the museum we picked up some lunch at a good salad bar we stumbled upon, and went to Central Park where we sat on a bench and ate and watched the world go by. We then walked for miles, all the way back down to Penn Station. It was great to be in the city with S, walking and talking all day. City days are so invigorating, the constant movement, how much there is to take in at any moment. It is easy for one’s worries to dissipate amidst the energy of it all. It’s very therapeutic. Then we came home and ordered delicious Thai food and had a gf cake that B & T made for me. It was a lovely birthday and I feel grateful for S’s visit and for every birthday wish I received throughout the day.
Now I’m back to being alone, taking care of things for V’s graduation next month. I pay for the rental of a cap and gown although I don’t know if he’ll actually wear it – he’s been so stubbornly idiosyncratic with what he will and won’t wear. He did wear a cap and gown when he graduated from high school (he’s graduating from his school’s young adult program now) but that was a few years ago and a lot has changed since then. In other ways not much has changed. Same house, same routines, same fears and wishes for the future.
I have to select 14 photos from his life to include in a slide show at graduation. It’s hard to pick the best pictures, to look at him over the years and see his adorable face grow older, from a beautiful baby to a handsome young man. While much has changed we are still taking care of him, providing all the supports he needs in his life. I still wear the hat of caregiver, along with others I place on as best I can.
The birds are noisy these days, it’s wonderful to sit still and listen to them sing, to look out the window and see the world go by, although it’s far less eventful than Central Park. I think about all the changes that will happen in the year ahead: V will go into his group home eventually, I will get to travel and write and continue clearing out the house. I’ll have more time for friends, which is a blessing. And much will happen that is still unknown. I am trying to see it all with excitement more than trepidation. The unknown can feel scary and I’m trying to have faith, to accept that things will work their way out in their own time, and there is much I have no control over.
Gego went through many different phases of work yet it all felt connected, she had themes and ideas that she explored in various ways throughout her life. As she got older she wasn’t able to work with certain materials anymore. Still, she kept making art, always fresh and intriguing and visually stunning. What an interesting life she led, this person I had never heard of before. How many interesting lives there are out there, each traveling around the sun. wanting the same things: to be safe and happy and healthy, to have a good long life. Not all of us will be that lucky. but I still hope for that for all those I know, and those who I have never met. We all deserve the time to pursue our passions, to immerse ourselves in things that bring us joy. And with that hope I start this new year.
One thought on “another year around the Sun”
Such a beautiful blog post, Joan! And it was my delight to get to spend a few days with you and the guys. I look forward to traveling with you — and even more so I look forward to watching your life unfold in the new phases ahead. ❤️❤️❤️