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BLOG: SWANS LAST DIVE (inactive) Please see my Crooked Mirror blog

memorial in sign language

I'd never been to a sign language memorial before. 8th of Jan, an appreciative community-- mainly deaf adults-- gathered to honored the memory of Dr. Virginia McKinney, founder of the Center for Communicative Development. Her great legacy was there, in person, her students and former students. These are deaf adults that were cast away, abandoned by the educational system. Virginia would not take NO for an answer. She didn't give up on people. Thanks to her persistence, her students told us, they were out in the world, working, married, raising kids, earning a living.

One of the speakers, a deaf Russian gentleman named Vladimir, said, that when he'd walked in that day, Viriginia's office was dark, her desk chair empty. "But she was there."

Documentary filmmaker Jessica Yu is finishing a documentary about Virginia (whom, we all agreed, would have been played by Bette Davis in a feature film.) and her son Walter is working hard to ensure that the legacy of CCD continues. "What would Virginia say?" was a common refrain and the answer was clear: "Don't take my school away."  Read More 
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Haiti Haiti Haiti

The images are relentless; piles of bodies; the haggard and the weary; the bereaved and the homeless. What can we do what can we do? I send donations to Partners in Health, watch the news and worry. Scenes from Dante's Inferno. Rick Loomis, intrepid L.A. Times photographer is on the scene. Rick has guts-- he's been in all the tough places-- Afghanistan, Iraq. In combat. in disasters. But I can imagine what witnessing these horrors costs him.

President Obama promises support for the Haitian people. You can hear the emotion in his voice.

The sadness overlays the winter beauty of Los Angeles. Read More 
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from snowy Chatham, NY

I'm in snowy Chatham, a writing retreat at the cozy house of my friend Beth Thielen, a wonderful visual artist. Beth works upstair in her studio while I work downstairs on the edit of CROOKED MIRROR. The woodstove is crackling crackling. Snow is falling falling falling. There's an old cemetery across the road and I've been taking daily walks there, among the Hodels and the Thorpes, the Cosolinos, the McGilvrays and the Mallorys. (My favorite name on a tombstone, d. early 1800's is STORY GOTT). Today the stones are nearly obliterated by the drifts of snow, blanketed with that white weight. In my writing, I'm in Poland, in Radomsko and Sejny, Lublin and Krakow, at Milosz' house at Krasnogruda, walking the Planty in Krakow with Adam Zagajewski. I'm also across the continent from my dear husband Lloyd, working in his studio back at our house in Silver Lake.

to all readers of THE SOUVENIR, to all future readers of CROOKED MIRROR, whoever you are and for whatever reason you've come to this intermittent blog, i offer wishes for a peaceful New Year. Read More 
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