Toe Shoes and Lorca
by Jessica Ehlers, April 15, 2011
She had been a ballerina. She played the violin. She was a painter. A sculptor. More things to more people than I can possibly mention here. She had a way of embellishing the mundane with glass baubles and beautiful rusting bits of bygone splendor. For an important part of both of our lives, we were partners in crime.
When she handed me the piece of pink silk fabric with pearl beads sewn onto it, I noticed the stain of blood. She told me the fabric was from her toe shoe from when she'd been en pointe. She said, “Pain is what makes beauty possible.” Just a simple fact stated as plainly as anything.
I remember being in the bed of her mom's red pick up one night, her brother driving us home. Maybe Spock was in the front seat. I can’t remember. Arm to arm, both of us facing the moon and stars, she recited a poem to me. It wasn't a homework assignment. That's just something Rebekkah liked to do.
Wounds of love
This light, this flame that devours,
this grey country that surrounds me,
this pain from a sole idea,
this anguish of the sky, earth and hour,
this lament of blood that now adorns
a lyre with no pulse, lubricious torch,
this weight of sea that breaks on me,
this scorpion that lives inside my breast,
are a garland of love, bed of the wounded,
where dreamlessly, I dream of your presence
among the ruins of my sunken breast.
And though I seek the summit of discretion
your heart grants me a valley stretched below,
with hemlock and passion of bitter wisdom.
- Federico García Lorca
It's her birthday today.
A few more memories:
Whenever I use certain shampoo, she's with me. I like to use it. When I was my hair
She used to dye her hair red with henna and it blew in the wind like flames.
She was a dancer and an artist in everything she did. With such grace, you might have expected her to be gentle, but she was a Taurean bull in astrological charting and personality.
When we were in middle school, we picked heaps of those tiny orange flowers that grow as low-lying weeds in the springtime around here. The ones with the tiny purple center? Yes, those.
She also introduced me to pesto and Enigma and did I mention how she hand-transcribed the entire lyrics to Pink Floyd's The Wall for all her close friends one weekend? It was transcribed in the most beautiful handwriting.
Some people you meet and they are neat but they are kindof like other people you have met. Not her. She was brazen and delicate and I should stop trying to describe it. If you have memories to add about her, add them to the comments. She would have hated this of course, this over zealous display in a public forum but I miss her and love sharing remembrances of her. I hope she can't fault me for that.