One of my earliest memories of your grandmother is learning how to spell words. She would draw a picture and write the word beneath it. I asked her multiple times to run this lesson for me, and every time she did do it for me, she’d place a cup of juice with Vienna Fingers on the kitchen table by my side.
There was something about a visual representation of an idea that blew my mind. I’d ask her to draw different words to see what they look like. By then, I’d seen every one of those objects in artistic depictions, but there was something magical about your grandmother doing it before my eyes. She knew the world in a way that I couldn’t yet process, and the drawings solidified her power in my mind.
Sometimes I swear I can feel abstract ideas as tangibly as I can feel the keys on this computer. I can perceive their texture and their weight. Sometimes I can see the cost of manifesting them into the world, and sometimes I can see their consequences. This phenomenon has fueled my art and maybe my humanity.
I’m sure there’s an earlier memory of your grandmother somewhere in my unconscious. I’ll keep it there until it needs to be replaced, and I’ll keep the memory from you until something more pressing needs to be said. I’ve learned that it’s better to see loved ones at their greatest moment if you can help it. For everything else, there’s Vienna Fingers and juice.
by Marc Alexander Valle