Friday, January 9, 2015

The Power of the Pencil

Four years ago today (January 9th) Marie left on her ultimate sketch journey. Even in those last days, when she was too weak to lift her pencils, she continued to sketch with her eyes. Her pencils were her passion, her avenue to make sense of this world. 

At the time of this writing, the nightmarish events of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris still continue, with more innocent people being killed in the name of religion. My friend, Carmel, sent me the image to the right from France this morning, commenting how much Marie would have been in agreement.The power of the pen(cil) cannot be silenced.

Teotitlán del Valle
Marie's pencil brought people together. Wherever she stopped to sketch, people were attracted to see what she was doing, what she was capturing on paper. And very often friendships blossomed because of it. Her pencil lines crossed cultures and celebrated the differences and similarities between us all.
Purepecha woman, Michoacán

A couple of years ago, my friend Greg took a photo of the altar I have for Marie in our bedroom. I wrote the poem below to accompany his photograph. Happy sketching Marie!! May your lines continue to cross borders and realms, and bring people together in harmony.
Greg's photo

Below is a link to a slideshow I have posted on Youtube and on my Facebook page. It is 7 1/2 minutes in length. A bit long, but then Marie deserves it!

A Sketch from the Other Side

From her altar in our bedroom

she smiles at me with pen in hand,

sketching with her eyes

what her hand no longer can.

The glazed Oaxaca-toned urn

that holds her coarse gray ashes,

can no longer contain her.

She descends at will

the narrow black ladders

that adorn the sides of the urn,

a portal from another realm traversing

the void between life and death.

New pages sketched in thin air

capture the moment as viewed
from the “other side.”