Thursday, May 31, 2012

The lion's purr.

Yesterday I got back from an amazing, too-short trip with my mom, sisters, and sister in law in celebration of my mom's 60th birthday--which isn't until July, technically, but one's actual birthdate should never prevent one from initiating a wanted celebration. We converged in ABQ and drove up to Santa Fe and then to Ojo Caliente, where we took the waters, drank margaritas, laughed our asses off, and experienced many an accidental mountain road detour.

I hope I'll blog about that more in a day or two, but what I really want to do right now is write about what I've been doing since I got home: mainly, re-reading my friend Turquoise's blog archives and all of the reminiscences about her on her facebook page, which turned into a memorial page when she died yesterday morning.

Turquoise (aka Violet) was the first friend in the computer that I met in person, when she and her then-boyfriend passed through Minneapolis about four years ago. We had one of those four-hour lunches that you can have with hilarious kindred spirits, even those you've never seen in the real world. She is also one of the first people I ever read, since we both started out on diaryland, and I always feel kinship with the former (and current) diarylanders, like we all survived the early days of blogging together.

I don't really know what to say about it all. She was brilliant and hilarious and talented and lovely and stylish. She also suffered a lot. She got her cancer diagnosis in the midst of a lot of other serious personal turmoil, and spent the last two years dealing with the aftermath of all of it. She blogged about it at Still Life With Idiots. Before that, she blogged at Sea Room. And I first found her at Spark and Foam, which is probably the best place to get a sense of how beautifully and irreverently she wrote (then there's beautiful and irreverent simultaneously). There are billions of potential entries to link; those are just a few I landed on.

On top of all that, she was in a couple of horror movies and sang in a band. Sometimes she raced boats, and sometimes she painted. She loved Murder, She Wrote, Jonathan Richman, Absolut Greyhounds, ludicrous shoes, and foxes (she wanted to bring back the word "foxy," which I will try to do in her honor). And she wrote captions for Anne Taintor. This is one of hers:

Because of her presence online, echoes of her are just going to stay here in the etherweb for as long as blogger or wordpress or d-land or flickr or whatever will keep them up. Isn't that so strange? There's a whole huge archive of certain ways that she chose to reveal her personality or her life, and that archive is staying available to all of us because she left it open. Right now I'm glad about that, because I can immerse myself in her writing, and the reminiscences of those who knew her, and mourn while feeling connected to her.

Here's something she wrote last year, in March:
I think there is unconditional love. In my mind, it is available from Aslan, the talking Jesus lion from the Narnia books. My fondest wish, and I say this without sarcasm, is that when I die, Aslan the talking Jesus lion will greet me in a wide, beautiful field of flowers, and let me curl up against his fur and sleep until I feel whole. We will have long conversations, and I will be comforted by his compassion and his wisdom, and even when we discuss my flaws and sins, he will not judge me, but instead talk me through my bad decisions, and forgive me when I confess.
 Love you, girl.


  1. Great memorial! I've always wondered who wrote the captions for fun magnets. She sounds cool and you bring up a good point about how her online presence will remain as an autobiography of sorts.

  2. I am one of those that used to read her entries on diaryland too. I loved her entries and felt so cool whenever she commented on my diary (I'm one of the holdouts that never really left diaryland). I rediscovered her new blog last year and was so certain at that time she would get better. These past few weeks I had been checking often, hoping for a new entry from her. I kept hoping for just one more, but of course that would never be enough, I would just want another one and another. I too have been reading through her older entries - she was truly special and will be missed even by those who did not know her in real life. - because I am forever baffled by how to use that as my ID in the comments section anywhere except diaryland.

  3. Nice tribute. Cancer sucks.

  4. This is unbelievable stuff. I'm in awe of her and in love with her from your description, and so sorry to hear she's gone.

  5. Hi Maven, I miss T so much and am also glad for all she left us in the blogosphere and elsewhere on the Web. I'm also happy to make contact with others that she touched, friends like you. Take good care, C.