1 Year

Dear friends,

I can barely stand to type the words Rosalie has been gone a year but I just did, because it is true, and I want to thank everyone for their attention and love for us in this time. 

We don't like our new situation any more than we did then, and we aren't in any less chronic pain but the damaging acute and initial lacerations seem to have healed. We don't know why we have been chosen to live this life, or certainly if even those are those words to use for where we are and what we are doing. There's a lot we don't know. 

Since April, I have been working hard on drawing this story, trying to tell the world about this incredible girl, and about our search for the meaning of losing her. Since I've spent most of my life drawing stories with ink on paper, that's what I'm doing; taking this practice or tactic and turning it to these events which need understanding.

Leela has taken a different route, one I can't and don't understand exactly, but I do know that her recent drawings of lone men and women climbing over heaps of corpses must have something to do with her own methods of processing. I've taken to drawing Rosalie and Leela and myself, Leela has taken to drawing corpses and ashes and women possessed and haunted by dybbuks. 

I can't thank enough- I can't tell you what you, our friends have meant to us in this time, especially to you in Gainesville who have welcomed us so much, and have awed and graced us with your creativity, intelligence and warmth. 
To those of you outside of our immediate reach, cartoonists around  the world, or friends and family from New York to Seattle, I thank you for your touches from afar, and your generosity, and spirit which touches us here in our cocoon full of owls, moss, spiders and cartooning students. 

To the people I don't know, almost 30,000 of you read the first chapter of my book ( link here ), -our book, the book Rosalie must have wanted me to make, or else why would this have turned out this way? - to you people, I thank you gratefully. I know this will seem redundant, but that girl Rosalie, was so amazing, so funny and amazing, I wish you could know. I hope this book, as it progresses, does something to convey what can't be conveyed in these embarrassing keystrokes. 

I am doing my best to honor her, and again, to find the meaning in all of this. The task of finding meaning is oddly easier than that of honoring, as I struggle to make every drawing a gift to her, to you, and to those who have given me such inspiration on this plane. It is not something I succeed at, as my laziness and lack of discipline cause me to fall short time and time again. I am grateful for your patience and attention.

I will be posting new pages here soon and as often as I can. I thank you in advance for looking our way.

I found a text document today, of names we were thinking of before she was born. We always knew she would be Rosalie Lightning, but just to be sure, we tried out others: 

Rosalie Lightning
Veronica Lightning
Amelia Lightning
Cleo Lightning
Sadie Lightning
Pearl Lightning
Lola Lightning
Lucia Lightning

Yet we knew she would be Rosalie. We heard it in a song by Brian Eno. When she was an infant, when she was already Rosalie,  I listened to it over and over again, trying to understand what this song was really about, what  this song that revealed her name was really about.

And eventually I caught on: it is a song about being comforted by darkness.

Rosalie, I've been waiting all evening
possibly years I don't know
counting the passing hours
everything merges with the night

I stand on the beach
giving out descriptions
different for everyone I see
since I just can't remember
longer than last september

under the volcano
floats like a cushion on the sea
yet I can never see him
everything ponders in the night

we've been talking all summer
picking the straw from our clothes
see how the breeze has softened
everything pauses in the night


Sarah Glidden said…
Tom, I'm thinking of you both with lots of love.
kriswaldherr said…
Much love to you both. Been thinking of you, hoping you're as well as can be expected.
mattmadden said…
Thinking of you tonight, Tom, and missing you. I've been meaning to send you some time windows for an overdue Skype session, will do so. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Alma Garnett said…
we miss you & love you always, RL! And Tom & Leela!
Liniers said…
Love from Buenos Aires.
Tom Hart said…
Thank you friends.

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