Sunday, November 08, 2015


Photo by S. Auberle


Annie turns 99 today -- soon she'll be just another star, looking down and wondering what on earth all the fuss was about.  Her house is filled with paper lanterns, her black and white photos, rocks and bones and birdwings.   For her birthday I think I'll take her a bowl of sweet cherries, though she never believed that about life.  Just like she never believed she'd live to be 99.  Survived cancer twice, heart attacks, yet whenever you left, instead of goodbye, Annie always said cheers!  As if it was enough to wish it, she didn't have to believe.  On the day Pavarotti died, she called to tell me that once, upon hearing him in person, she nearly fainted.  These days small Annie grows smaller by the moment, and rarely speaks.  Perhaps, after all this time, there is nothing left to say.   Annie has fierce masks hanging on her walls and owls watch her, she once said, from the forest outside her windows.  I don't know for sure if she speaks their language, but it wouldn't surprise me.  Or dragonfly, perhaps.  I asked Annie one day if she believed in a god.  I don't remember her answer, but I doubt that she does.  Maybe as her time draws near, she's reconsidering that.  Or perhaps she's just enjoying this cool west wind today that sets the lanterns to dancing and the birdwings preparing to take flight…

(I wrote this piece a few months back, Annie died yesterday)

RIP Annie R.  1916-2015


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