Tuesday, August 30, 2011

L'Chaim

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I have too much to tell you that I don't know where to start dear diary.
The last few days have been tumultuous. We made a wedding in a hurricane, we fought for the farm, we washed the remains of a dead animal off the dog.
The details of life, flittering by...stacked one on top of the other.

This evening I'm finally back in Brooklyn, settled again at home. I made a tomato sandwich. Eric and Nea take a nap. It's quiet here.

Thursday I got the sad news about Jeanette Ingberman, a woman who I realize I've been carefully modeling myself after these past few years.

To be around Jeanette was to be electrified. Over the weekend I've been filtering though all the moments I could conjure of our time spent together. How strange that after someone dies, the sound of their voice seems to sharpen and crystallize...

I first knew Jeanette as her intern in 2003. She would meet me in her office and we'd sit and organize her desk; I'd leave with a pile of her papers feeling exhilarated and honored. She seemed to me like a queen. I spent an afternoon once trying to find a florist to deliver to Marfa on her behalf. A few years later I went back to Exit to work as Assistant Curator, a job I'd lusted over since first moving to New York.

Jeanette had endless enthusiasm for young people and their dreams. Countless artists will attest to that, and I can too. When I became interested in flowers, she'd let me make big arrangements for openings at the gallery, and then tell everyone I made them and talk about how beautiful they were. When I started Saipua with Eric while still on the clock at Exit Art, she'd encourage me and ask whether I was charging enough for my flowers. And when she called me into her office one day to ask me why I wasn't doing my job at the gallery with full force, I broke down in a shameful mess of tears and resigned.

Of course she knew before I did what was destined for me.

She sent me a handful of encouraging emails in the last few years, often prompted by something about Saipua in the paper. "Love you, miss you, stop by sometime..."
I never did.

She always toasted to life; L'Chaim!

But the thing about life is that there's just never enough time, is there?

9 comments:

Jaime Rugh said...

I didn't visit my friend much before she died and once she did I couldn't stop thinking of that. I knew she would have thought I was crazy dwelling on that, but it weighed on me. Changed me for sure. The heavy heart and finding new ways to love- or love better...
I hope you get that farm you want and keep on beating to your own drum, leading the herd ...
No one makes flowers quite like you.

Miz.November said...

Some people leave a brightly shining spot in out hearts that can never be dulled. We are lucky when we get to run across someone like that.
Much love to you. And I hope things come together so you can have your farm. :)

{the hort couture gardener} said...

How lovely to have such special memories of a person who had such an impact on your life. There are truly some special people in the world, ones we are destined to meet to show us the way sometimes. I'm sure for many, including myself, you are an inspiration in your own way sharing the lessons you have learnt and your amazing talent/knack you have with flowers.
Hope things improve for you - there's a whole bloggy world out here rooting for you!

julie said...

so much for u to take in, in one week - she sounds like an amazing lady & mentor - one that will be truly missed. xxx

An said...

such a lovely, thoughtful post sarah. xo

Lisa said...

Beautiful post, Sarah. Sorry for your loss.

And yes, still thinking good thoughts for your farm.

fleur_delicious said...

you know, I'm only a doctoral candidate, not phd yet, but already I've had some of those students that I keep in touch with voluntarily. I guess what I'm saying here is, Ingberman was obviously not the only special person in this relationship; she saw that you were special, too. Don't be too hard on yourself, I think it's easy when we've lost someone to regret not spending more time. I'd say, instead of casting those emails as missed opportunities, think of them as little telegraphs of love and support from one special person to another. The work you do is really quite remarkable. You have a talent and an eye that few do. Obviously, she knew this about you. So gird yourself in the memories (what serendipity when the universe brings special people into each others' orbits) and those precious emails, and go forth and keep shining! That's what you should do, and what she would want you to do. And after all, you have a farm to fight for. L'chaim! from the west coast (and a mazel coming when you get that farm...)

Volare said...

I'm sending a little thought out into the universe for her.

Various Projects said...

a beautiful tribute. strangely, i had just been reading about issue project room's late founder, suzanne fiol, this afternoon. and now this...