Thursday, June 18, 2009

Reflecting on Tasha Tudor 1915-2008

a lot
I found I had a difficult time choosing a picture to accompany this letter. So many of Tasha's photos depict her in the Autumn years of her life after she had gained so much notoriety in her art. And though I greatly admire Tasha's art, it is her life than I admired most. Not the life of travel when she was promoting her work, but the life I can only imagine that happened when she was alone or with loved ones. This is the most intimate portrait of Tasha that I have ever seen, and can only think Nell Dorr to be the photographer. I can hardly imagine anyone else so close to Tasha to capture this picture of a young nursing mother. It is such a rare depiction of her life and must have been taken in the late thirties or early forties of the 20Th century- which is in itself somewhat astonishing. Which of the four children this little beautiful babe is I do not know. But it is heartbreaking in so many ways with everything the family is going through with settling the estate of Tasha Tudor. What is evident to me is this. No matter what happened to cause the family to break apart as it has, Tasha loved her babies. It is written all over her face. The stress and trials of bringing up four children after she left her husband, I cannot even begin to imagine. Her art paid the bills. Perhaps this is the reason I feel more attached to her daily life than her art. In my head, it seems that for her it was a means to an end. Tasha was extremely protective of her private life and had a very structured life. To the casual onlooker it may not have seemed so, but for any modern person to shun all outside forms of media takes great discipline. No television, radio, or Internet. No reading other peoples Blogs, joining Facebook, or writing emails. It may seem like she didn't care about the outside world. To me, it seemed like she cared about her inside world more deeply than to let the outside world get in the way. This is the notion that has been tumbling about in my head for the past months. I write on this Blog to those I care deeply about, and maybe to those who find some sort of shelter in a common soul. I can relate on so many levels to Tasha wanting to shun the outside world. Sometimes contact with people outside your protective circle can be more hassle than what it seems worth. The bottom line is that we often do not see the world the same way. These can include people we do not know, but it can also include those who should be most close to us, but for one reason or another are not. I would like to be the type of person who could overcome any transgression. I can forgive any hurt, but I cannot say I am able to readily give the other cheek for another slap, so to speak. Maybe this is how it was for Tasha and her family. Whatever is said or written, one thing I believe is true. Her family and home place were her world. Taking care of her gardens, animals, and art left little time for wasted energy. Those who loved her knew where to find her. I wonder at her feelings of sentimentality towards the end of her life. Was this the reason she entrusted one child to the bulk of her life? In her heart, was he the one who most understood her? I did not know her so I cannot say. But I can say that we can empathize with someone we do not know, and I think this is entirely possible. A home takes a lifetime to build up and can be torn to pieces in a matter of months with the right attorneys. If you think I am speaking of brick and mortar, think again. What is at stake here in Tasha's world is much more than her home place. It is a way of life that thousands cling to for strength in navigating a world far to concerned with the lives of other's. She remains a strong reminder for many of us that our life happens in the rituals of each and every day. If we become too engrossed in the lives of others, or in world events, we find ourselves at risk of losing touch with our own. Take Peace, dear Tasha. We miss you.

1 comment:

reggie said...

I got a invite to visit Tasha a few years ago. We were kindred spirits whose lives crossed through our crafts and lifestyles.

I enjoyed your thoughts about her and hope that things settle down and the family can turn things back around to family and forget and forgive any past misunderstandings and hasty words.