Some Grace

"CHOICE",  1993, 5' x 5',  m/m

"CHOICE", 1993, 5' x 5', m/m

Some grace came down on me.

I know that because my dog is alive and, by all rights, shouldn’t be.

She is fighting the good fight and Grace is right there with her, giving her time, keeping too emotionally involved humans (read: ME) out of the way.

When I think of GRACE, I often remember when our family would visit my grandmother on Christmas Day.

This was always a somewhat stilted affair. Good gifts all around and a great, silvery and formal table unfit for children.

After dinner the adults gathered around my matriarch grandmother while she smoked and a ‘chosen one’ lit the fire.

We pinched our fingers together as we carefully lifted small, thin porcelain cups of coffee to our lips. The cups were so thin that when empty one could see the image of the queen of England. “Mom, when do we get to go home?”

There would come a moment just halfway through the coffee-time when she would rise and slowly walk to the phonograph across the giant oriental rug.

She’d choose a record and slip it from the sleeve. Set it on the revolving disk and carefully place the needle.

MAHALIA JACKSON!!

I LOVED this part.

It was like we were all in a very strange and STRAINED movie..

Who was this black voice and why did my grandmother insist on playing this record?! “This is weird,” we’d all be thinking.

Because my grandmother was always so withheld and WHITE!

And here was this voice that had so many threads to God going on that it was a regular afghan being knit!

The voice swelled and fell, whispered and boomed.

And THEN it was Christmas!

Only then, as my grandmother never looked at any of us and in her own private God-drawn chariot, she cried heavy tears.

Right in front of us!

Never wiping a one of them away.

I didn’t have the guts to approach a conversation with her about why this particular ritual meant so much.

Guess I had the sense even way back then to know that God was near.

And it was a very private affair.

I learned only later that those who know, don’t say…

Just can’t be done.

comments

Leave a Reply