Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Letter to My Grandmother


You were all comedy, you know — a five-foot, 170-pound woman heading our way on stumpy legs, eating figs. You were glorious and proud, tragic, dramatic, and overblown, assertive as they come. You were going somewhere. Your holy mission was to arrive, and to make your presence known.

“Letter to My Grandmother,” a prose piece and favorite of mine from Songs and Letters, is now the featured excerpt on my Archive page.



My grandmother, from the first page of one of my uncle’s photo albums.
He took the picture. That’s his writing underneath.







My uncle at the old home place with one of his many hot rods

before
the
war

.


[Please click on photos for a larger view]



16 comments:

Denise Scaramai said...

William,
Undoubtedly, she was a woman with a strong presence and full of life!
with generous smiles ...
and his uncle, also one very striking
in this wonderful photo!
[I was even wanting to draw it ...]

a post is very grateful!
congrats

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

The way your descibe yours grandmother is moving really, and the photo are history

... I'm very impressed by the words you wrote at the end:

before

the

war

to read this was for me like to wake up after a beautifull dream..

rahina q.h. said...

left me all reflective in a good way:)
and the post below, well the words just danced in front of my eyes... and a flower defined revealed a field, so it was, i am by what i want...
hmmmmmmm;)

vazambam said...

I especially admire your uncle's stance--I'm sure it was something he inherited from his mom. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of both.

manik sharma said...

Will,
i have a sniveling heart right now..i have recently moved thousands of miles away from home....turned from graduate to the regular workaholic...a chair grabber....10 hours down the drain..i talked to my grandmother a few days back...she cried on the phone and said "i don't know when i will see you again" (in hindi)...i couldn't say a word apart from "you will"...i have seen her cry for numerous reasons(like a child ofcourse)....but this was the first time she cried for me...i was wrested by sadness after playing hard man for some time...it is unavoidable at times...

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Denise! Yes, and now you know a little more how I became the crazy person I am....

Dear Laura, thank you too. And may there one day be no war to be after or before.

Rahina, I have always said that you’re out standing in your field. Thanks for reading this bit of family lore.

Vassilis, you’re observation is right on. And let me tell you, he backed it up.

Manik, it seems we’re always on the verge of something: revelation, joy, loss, success. It’s life’s way, I guess, of saying, “Welcome to the family.”

Theanne and Baron said...

May I love your Grandma...because I do...she has traits I always wanted to have. Personality, charisma, it's written on her face, she loved life! She was life! And your Uncle before the war...before the war! My Don before the war...everybody before the war! So much said in three words!

William Michaelian said...

And that much more in these beautiful words of yours, Theanne. Thank you.

Somehow, we do celebrate with broken hearts. And what better honor to those who have gone before?

Denise Scaramai said...

...crazy person? ahh that's good!
she gave you, a great collaboration genetics!

William Michaelian said...

That’s it exactly, Denise!

Anthony Duce said...

Someone who’s presence stays with you forever. Or so it seems.

William Michaelian said...

It’s amazing, really, how I often I think of her and the entire scene of my childhood — and not just my childhood, but the years before I was born, stories of which I heard countless times. Daily would not be an exaggeration. Thanks, Anthony.

-K- said...

I just read the entire piece on your grandmother in the archive.

Raisin crops, wooden barrels for making bread - those we've lost but flags given to mothers in wartime, that we still have.

As usuall after reading something you've written I feel I've read pages and not just a few paragraphs.

William Michaelian said...

Kevin, thanks for clicking through and reading the whole “Letter.” The flags — I’ve written about them elsewhere too, and I will never get over them. And yes, I feel the pages are there, right along with the years.

erin said...

who could not love that! she! such vivacious life. and he...before the war...

xo
erin

William Michaelian said...

I’m really glad you saw them, Erin. Thank you.