Saturday, February 16, 2008

To Jenny, My Sister

Jenny Makofsky

Tommorrow it's four years, and I've been taking lots of long walks so that I can have the opportunity to talk to you. I tell you how I miss you, I thank you for visiting me in my dreams (just this week there was one, and I can't remember it a bit, just that we were laughing and talking and it was easy. There were no questions about what had happened or how you had managed to find your way back into my life, everything was so free.)

February is my weakest month, where I really get to self-pitying, and I know you'd not want me going down that road. But maybe you'd let me do it a little anyway? Like what really burns me up is that it was only a month before you died that I was walking in the East Oakland hills and thinking about you and Steve and Max and I caught my breath because I realized how lucky I was. And I quickly crossed all my fingers to protect us from the Evil Eye or whatever it might be that is vengeful when you are joyful and everything's too perfect.

But there are things to be glad for. You went to Barcelona, Jenny, and stood on the roof of some Gaudi architecture. You drew a Beatniks comic strip. You wrote a one-woman show and knocked out the audience at the Climate Theater in San Francisco (not to mention 21 Grand in Oakland and The Works in San Jose). You helped raise little Max and make him a lover of stories. You sang "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around" at Grandpa Abe's funeral, when I couldn't even speak. You drank tea with Steve on the afternoon you died, and laughed with delight over the gay marriages in San Francisco. You wore gorgeous glittery hair clips and big black boots. So many people loved you and were lucky to know you.

When Grandpa died, you told me that the responsibility was on us to carry on his political work and recreate his energy for social justice. And then you left, too. What happens to all your stories and everything you helped to make so poetic and glowing?

I just wrote in your guestbook about tomorrow. Tomorrow we're going to Hierve el Agua, the petrified waterfalls outside of Oaxaca, where you ate too many tamales 10 years ago. I still have the picture of you and Steve and I that Abby took. We're laid flat along a crevice in the rocks where, deep underneath, water was flowing. That's how I try to think of you, somewhere beyond the surface of this shallow world, moving, changing, maybe singing, and if my mind could just make that leap in understanding the potential of the physical universe, I'd be there, too.


lisa said...

I often think of Jenny, but tonight I did and decided to check in on your blog and your life in Mexico. Then I realized that it was the anniversary of Jenny's death and I knew why I felt sad today. Just know there are many of us who think of Jenny and smile remembering her great humor and energy.

Serena said...

Thanks so much, Lisa for your kind words. In honor of her humor, I'll tell one of her favorite jokes: "Have you heard about the new restaurant on the moon? Great food, but no atmosphere."

Davida said...

I think of her often too. Her death affected me and I made some changes I think she would have approved of.