Life in Words
January 12, 1939 - September 13, 2021
An artist, activist and woman of unparalleled resourcefulness, my mother lived life on her own terms. I think when anyone who has been a large part of one's life passes, there's a tension between "keeping faith with the dead" and being honest with the living. Honesty has been both a blessing and curse in my life and in particular with my relationship with my mother.
When she, a long time pack+ per day cigarette smoke asked if her apartment smelled of smoke and if the smoke could be smelled outside her door, I said yes. This made her angry. When she asked me to buy one of her painting before an art show to make a more impressive "statement", I said no. This made her angry. This is rather how our relationship went over the years. Not smooth sailing by any means. One could say much of the tension was self-inflicted on my part, as it was often something I said, or didn't say that would set off the angry tirade. However, it did take me a long time to learn all the "trigger words" to avoid a storm.
She was a mercurial, exuberant creator; designing and making clothing from the simple to the sublime; many of her own clothes, a handmade lace wedding gown. She knitted, sewed, beaded, embroidered and made fabric art. She invented a learning system for people with dyslexia. She exhibited her artwork. She wrote and published poems and short stories that ran from the wickedly satirical to the powerfully poignant.
Her high school yearbook's prophecy section said "Marie Marotto has just been nominated by the Republicans to run for President." Which made me laugh out loud since the last 5 years of her life were spent as a Twitter based political activist decrying the actions of the Republican President.
Rest in Peace Mom
A Mother's Day video I made back in 2014.