Judith brought this newspaper clipping to the little book release party my wife threw for me after my first book came out. An artist herself, she blacked out the caption of the photograph to read: “create more a r t.”
I had it hanging on my bulletin board for a few years, then took it down and threw it in a box when I moved my office out to the garage.
Judith’s husband was one of my wife’s PhD advisors, so I saw her a few more times over the years. One time we all went to Franklin BBQ, back when it was still a trailer. Another time we went to a party at their house and I got to see her paintings and her studio. The last time I saw her, we met for lunch when we all happened to be in New York, and we griped about how much the MoMA felt like a department store.
We only spent a handful of hours together, over half a decade, but I really liked her.
Last week I got word that Judith passed away from the cancer she’d been battling for quite some time.
I thought of the clipping.
When I found it out in the garage, I turned it over, and discovered a handwritten note from Judith that I had, somehow, unbelievably, never noticed before.
“Won’t mess with this one,” it said.
For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.
The work goes on.
“Create more a r t.”