these texts are an archive of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area from march 2007 - march 2015. it stands as a record of close to a decade of my life, charting the struggles i faced as an artist, daughter, and lover. messy and chaotic at times, eloquent and poetic at others, these texts are an index i am proud of. it was here in this electric box that i learned how to be honest about my experiences and the person i needed to become. it was here that i first learned the truism that words make the world and how to trust such a beautiful, rife, hard fact.

thank you for meeting me here in such tall grass.

my artist website is here.

Sep 23, 2013



in the early morning hours of saturday, september 21st, one of my greatest and most loved mentors died in southern california.  my sweet, sweet Marc.  he was 71 years old.  i had no idea he was even sick.  no one really did.

400+ miles away, i'm sitting in bed with a cocktail, finally free to cry after battling through a night of waiting tables where i wanted to cry every 20 minutes. i only went to work today in the hopes of getting out of my own head.  i only went to work today to make Marc proud.

god, i loved that man.  i really did.  i do still.  it doesn't matter how many years it's been since i last set foot in my home town, i still love the people i love and Marc was an enormous influence.  i adored him from the second i heard him speak.  i took my first class from him at the age of 18 and studied under him for 7 consecutive years.  he taught me how to make a mark.  a REAL mark.  "make a bold mark early in a drawing," he said.  "It doesn't matter if it ends up in the wrong place and needs to be erased; you've given yourself something to respond to and that's what art is all about." and as i write those words, i see it's a lesson that can be (needs to be) translated into all areas of life...  especially now when everything feels so raw and so dire and so fucking lonely.  i can't help but lend my voice to that tired refrain but it is absolutely true: when mike called and told me Marc had died, i felt like a light had gone out in the world.  

i hung on that man's every word.  i loved listening to him speak.  he had such a great voice.  so full of sensuality and humor and generosity.  after i'd been taking classes from him for a few years, i caught myself one day thinking, "... if only he were 15 years younger". hahaha!  and i fucking meant it too! his love of humanity and beauty was evident in the way he talked.  the lilt of his speech betrayed what a lover he was and i loved him for it.  in fact, i adored him to the point of anxiety.  i don't know that i ever completely relaxed around him.  i was so enamored of him and so impressed with him that it was hard for me to be entirely myself...  i wanted him to like me too much.  i wanted him to be pleased with me.  i wanted to make him proud. 

i was at fucking Forever 21 when my beloved friend Mike called and gave me the news.  at first, it felt like a joke.  there was no way this was real.  after about 20 minutes had passed, i tasted tears in my throat and knew i needed to find a bit of privacy.  i hung the clothes i was holding back on a rack and went outside.  it was pouring rain.  i ducked in to the alcove of a broken elevator and curled my self against the corner where two walls met, my back to the street, my face hidden from view.  there, i cried as i listened to Mike tell me about his last moments with Marc.  i pushed myself as far into the corner as i could go and covered my face with my hands.  

i want to call everyone i know and tell them i love them.

i'm going to stay up late drawing tonight.  it's the best thing i can do and the best way to honor Marc.  i can make a bold mark once more and give myself something to respond to...  a place to put the agony of my loneliness, the emptiness that charges forward with such brutality and callousness.  i can carve out a space for beauty and resilience and love somewhere in between these tortures and roll around in the tall, black grass of his grace...  a sliver of the generosity such a deeply affective mentor and friend bestowed to me.

i miss you, Marc.  it really fucking sucks that i didn't get to hug and kiss you one last time and listen to your stories.  god, i've missed your voice.  i've missed it for so long and now i will go on missing it.

i lit a Yahrzeit candle for him last night.  the flame was so tall.  it stayed that way all night, lighting up my room the way i would light up whenever i was in the same room with him.  it made me happy to see such a tall flame on his candle.  it suits him.  it suits how i feel for him.  what a bright light that man was.  absolutely brilliant.

i love you.


RBav said...

I loved him, too.

angela simione said...

(((BIG HUG)))

Ellen Enoch-Stahlheber said...


I don't think we ever met, but I felt as if you read my thoughts. Thank you for posting words so eloquently composed. I will always regret not picking up the phone and calling him - I was afraid of bothering him.

I am a teacher now. He was the teacher I always wanted to be like. A light has left this world, but think of all the lights he lit in us. And now we can share his wisdom and be lights to others.

Ellen Enoch-Stahlheber