Sister Artist

Adriana and her brothers Rene (left) and John in 2012

Adriana Gandolfi, my sweet younger cousin, never made it to old age.  She died last July, leaving behind a gap in the universe, where her great heart dwelled, and a book of her poetry Canti del anima.  She wrote in Italian and in English, and her poems, like her life, were all about giving herself to love. . . love of family, love of self, love of the universe, love of life.  We all miss her.  Every day.

I never thought I’d ever feel
the great fragility
of crystal glass and autumn leaves
all dried and filigreed
The color is transparent rust
The smell a little musty
It tastes like wine too old to drink
and sounds quietly shrill

The strength imbuing all with life
Ebbs and flows – stops and goes
Begins to fade, then disappears
We hang still by a thread.

So of all this mortal matter
where is the part that lasts?
May it be within the space
that we cannot see
where the very substance lies
that gives us all our breath?

Oh, fragile mind and fragile will
Abandon all you have
and give yourself up to the space
that lives forever now.

                                  Adriana Gandolfi

2 thoughts on “Sister Artist

  1. I had the blessing of meeting and spending some very treasured time with Adriana. She was a spirited and beautiful young woman in the early 1970’s. This was the time spent with her in Saranac Lake New York. Adriana touched me very deeply and I have often thought of her and the day we said good-bye at the park in Saranac Lake. I stumbled on Carla Stocktons’ touching piece while thinking of Adriana one day. Beautiful and fitting. She was an Angel and if she touched your life it was for ever. We were young and learning life, it was a troubled time for youth in the U.S. We were young and confused we helped each other for that speck of time. I am deeply sad on hearing of her passing, we had lost touch as life got more complex. I now know I can talk to her anytime, I know she will listen as she always did.

    God bless you Adriana
    Your friend

    David P Gilpin


    • David,
      Your words are heartbreaking and beautiful. I relate deeply to your special connection with our beloved Adriana, Carla’s and my cousin… I think of her all the time and miss her sweet spirit. Adriana (and her brothers Rene’ and John) and I spent many summers together as children, in Queens.
      We continued our connection by long distance via emails and phone after she moved to Italy…
      I reread those emails and her poems and am reminded of how uniquely wise and witty and loving and amazing she was. She never failed to make me roar out load with laughter, particularly with comments on our family’s old school ways of “never talking about issues” and other things she and I shared in common. Of course, our generation talks about EVERYTHING — and she and I did, with gusto and enthusiasm.
      I still ask her opinion on things when I am in a quandry…and she still puts a smile on my face with her celestial replies.
      I am happy you knew her and shared some time with her. That you found Carla’s blog is serendipitous – thank you for letting us know about your personal experience with our dear Adriana.

      Anna Thea Bogdanovich


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