26 Comments

So, so beautiful. I love that you were the only keeper of your grandmothers dear private life. The trust and knowing that must have brought you both in each other. Having not proximity to either grandparent growing up--they both lived a 9 + hour drive away and their visits were magical whirlwinds--it occurs to me now that I didn’t really get to know them--not the way you knew yours. Not the way I hope to know my own grandchildren one day. Is that a construct of certain “types” of grandmothers? Or of culture? Or of location, proximity, of eras? I’m curious. But when I read your stories I have faith in the knowing of family, deeply--their quirks, their character, their influence. And I’m so happy she came to visit you this week. Xx

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Thank you 🙏🏻

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Thank you for sharing your words Sarah!

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I love this so very much. thank you Gaga for delivering this message, which is so perfect. And P.S. It's the trying that matters.

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It’s the old Bhgavad Gita rule: it’s the journey.

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Besides the fact that I live in Kew Gardens (and am frequently in Forest Hills, or driving down the Boulevard of Death) I can identify with the need to go ahead and be a magician. I haven't had the courage (partly because my controlling, catastrophizing, perfectionist husband has worked a fair amount of antimagic on my self-confidence), but you have helped me to remember that I used to be a magician. And I must still be, because MY grandmother told me so. Not in so many words, but I think she meant something similar when she told me I should "not be afraid, because I would land on top". I hadn't the faintest idea what she meant by that at the time. And I'm pretty sure that was the last time I saw her, because I was eight, at the time, and she died in a car accident (at 80) when I was nine.

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You are already a magician. Every woman who puts one foot in front of the other in this world, at this time, at any other and every other time, who manages work and babies or no babies, or who is a caregiver or...or...or...All of us: magicians. I have one tattoo, on my left forearm; it says NOLI TIMERE, which were the poet Seamus Heaney's last words. They translate from the Latin to Be not afraid. I'm sorry for the loss of your grandmother. We were lucky.

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Five kids (2 sets of twins and #5), most of them on the Autism Spectrum (with varying results -- great kids), never enough money, difficult hubby whom everyone else on earth thinks is the most lovely and generous and kind person ever. (He is a good person, but I still have the urge to slap silly all the people who tell me how lucky I am, because I must have the most lovely and generous and kind, etc.spouse. ) Oh, yeah, I have ADHD which makes everything harder. So now you mention it... I suppose some magic has already been involved. Thanks again!

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Indeed; I think some magic has been involved -- Be well, and take care- E

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Jun 7, 2023Liked by Elissa Altman

This is so beautiful, Elissa. Everything you write about your mother and your grandmother resonates with me deeply. I sometimes park my car in Rego Park in front of the building where my grandma lived until she was killed in a bus crash on the 59TH street bridge. I listen for her words and guidance all these decades later. Those who sustained us are still supporting us when we need them most. Listen to your gaga. She knows you can and do walk like a magician.

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Thank you Beth❤️

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Along the way I've learned that often it's your friends and loved ones who try to subvert your magical projects. I don't know what gave me the strength to keep going with my ideas, but I do know that I succeeded. For the most part. Certainly, enough success to have made the efforts worthwhile. Thank you for reminding me of my magicianship.

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perfection ~ thank you

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Jun 6, 2023Liked by Elissa Altman

GREAT post! Thank you, thank you for brightening an otherwise very loose-endy day.

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Jun 8, 2023Liked by Elissa Altman

They come to us right when we need them most.

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Jun 6, 2023Liked by Elissa Altman

Thank you -- I love Crossing Delancey and needed some prodding to maybe try a new hat

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I needed this today ❤️

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Jun 6, 2023Liked by Elissa Altman

Beyond excellent. Thank you.

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Thanks for reminding us that we have our individual superpowers, to use the popular term. I often receive clues from my psyche in the form of song lyrics, though nothing so profound as getting them from an ancestor. Earlier this week I heard someone say, "I have to feel through my own soul system." Immediately I started hearing "Hey system, soul system, soul system" to the tune of "Hey sister, soul sister" from the song Lady Marmalade. Sure, I guess a soul system is a kind of ally, like a soul sister. I'll keep that in mind, take it to heart. Thanks, Universe! And thanks, Elissa, for enriching and enlivening our lives with your writing superpower, among others you possess!

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I expired today. Nothing personal. I can only support one person a year and this year trying Wendy Mac Grownups table since I draw. Substack is so writer centric! I do love all you do and your writer pals....and ...I crossed 70 last year around this time... I can say it still gets better but keep moving! Thanks for all you do.

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Not according to my dashboard, you didn't. It shows you expiring in January 2023.

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Love this so much - someone shared with the Walk Like a Magician - the Bangles popped into my head with a new version of their song

🎵 Walk Like a Magician 🎶

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Thank you Elissa Altman, this will stay with me!

I’ve started to write a few months back and some stuff I write is quite personal. A good friend of mine who I know loves me dearly is uneasy with this endeavor. She said (“tu mets tes tripes sur la table” - yes sorry I’m French - “You put your gut on the table”) I’ve been ashamed and a dam parent-pleaser all my life, and now I rock the boat of perfection a bit. I wish to be bold and wild.

But in your image of “walk like a magician” there is also something sweet: a kind of lightness or playfulness. The mystery of secret tricks.

Oh I love it!

And like you I also loved my grandmother with all my heart. She was a gifted painter, especially using watercolors with mastery. Talking to animals and with definitely green thumbs.

I will now go to bed dreaming that she would come visit me at night and whisper some magic spell like yours...

Here is an exemple of my gut on the table:

https://humanalltoohuman.blog/charm/

Cheers!

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whoo hoo then

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