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Sonja Memory Page -2

This maybe should not be considered Stage 1 of this piece, since I’ve done some sketches in graphite to try to reconstruct Sonja as my childish memory could recall when I was about 12-13 years old, but this is the first one that starts to put the image in context for me emotionally/spiritually, and where my mind was trying to take me, I think.  What has hit me about this, is that I am currently grappling with my own illnesses, that are now complicating each other, many cannot be corrected or cured, and I am trying to find a way to live with it, as well.  I needed to understand how & why Sonja arrived where she did, what it meant for her, and consider what, if anything, I could learn and apply to my own perspective and mindset.  It took me back to that time in childhood, when we were together for a few days at Grandmother’s house, and seeing each other truly for the first time. 

We were each in our own personal prisons and lost souls, and I just felt that there was something really important that I was trying to remember and learn that had everything to do with what I was grappling with now, that seemed to be really connected, both then and now.  Working on this journal page has helped me to uncover something extremely important that I really needed to get RIGHT NOW.  I needed to get this clarified in my head to get perspective on my own health issues, self-esteem, choices, what I believe about myself around these things, what I can do, and what I want to do.

What I want to do is to keep my humanity and am invested in maintaining my connections to extracting every ounce of value from my existence for as long as I can, accept the things I can’t change in my health, and physical limitations and unpredictability, and making the most of what I have.  That is not just a mandate to myself, but my belief about what I can do, and that will make me happy.  The rest is just stuff, and I’ll deal with it as I can.  I will do whatever I can to avoid depression and try my best to take good care of myself and stay as stress-free as possible.

Thank you, Sonja, for the lesson.  I’m so sorry that life took you so far away from bliss.  I always wished so much that you would get a break and be able to have a happier life.  You didn’t fail; you just lost your way.  Peace, Cousin; I will always love you.

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I have no reference photos of Sonja, either from childhood or as an adult, so this is only based on my own childhood memory of Sonja, and is intended to represent what she projected back then, according to my limited childhood memories.  Again, it’s a work in progress, and will be edited further.  Ironically, this was done in graphite on tissue paper!  Nothing else!  I started this one this way accidentally, just doodling and it developed into a study of sorts, so I just kept going with it, exploring expressions that were common with Sonja back then.  She wore glasses, too, but I haven’t put them on her here…I need to check and find out if she was wearing glasses this young (around her teens).  I will probably make some more changes to her eyes, in particular, as well as her cheekbones, as she had, as many of us, have the heavy upper eyelids of the Pendergraph family, and we have them from childhood.  Sonja was also a bit chubby, and face studies during adolescence would be more effective if I could see some photos of her at this age.  She just died at 52, and remembering through my teenage memories leaves considerable gaps in details.  The blogpost I previously posted I had accidentally hit “auto contrast” on my scanning program, and it took the shading away from what I had in the sketch.  I just redid it and this is how the drawing actually looks in its present state without any photo editing.

 

cousin memory sketch-1

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