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