Start Here
graphite, Venetian plaster, colored pencil, dry pigment
20 x 36

Left side: Start Here / We were in Germany, completely in love. Abortion was not legal in Germany and we both knew it had to happen. So we went to Amsterdam. The student hotel the first night was horrible: sheets of cardboard for flooring; crude, boastful graffiti on the sloping ceiling. I might be making up that there were syringes and used condoms. It was like the embodiment of every bad feeling we had about the abortion. // At the clinic, there was a staff member whose job was to hold the patient's hand as the abortion was performed, as my uterus was emptied. It hurt. Lying in a bed later, at a distance I saw Bill walking outside the windows; dark hair, maroon sweater, camel-colored coat, thoughts turned inward and so worried about us, about me. It changed our lives in short and long ways.
Right side: Ending my first pregnancy generated a storm of emotion and, looking back, great sorrow. But sorrow happens. Whether we drift through life or work to craft it, in the end we can each have only one path. There are so many things I could have done but didn't, so many thing that could have happened but didn't; so many things I have done and that have happened. If I had not had the abortion, the path would have exploded and settled back down into a shape I could barely imagine and could not bear to live. // I think of the abortion as an act that created the negative space of a person who was not. Who is not. I am; we are. Our two children, born into joy, are. Bill and I have been married for nearly 40 years. The faint, necessary outline of the not-child has stayed with us, teaching us about loss, granting the gift of a way forward.
Gallery One
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