During the time when Julie and I were taking a break on the Byrne Diaspora blog, I went a little crazy with my own Internet projects. I would like to thank Mom and Dad for the Certificate of Deposit they made in 1984 on my behalf, which, twenty-six years later, funded my beautiful new web site designed by Tien-Yi Lee (a fellow MIT alum!). The new site went up along with a new blog, which details all my artistic projects; follow along if you like!
And finally, I went over to the Dark Side and joined Twitter. My feed is here (though it's not very interesting when isolated from the rest of the conversation). I was finally convinced on the merits of Twitter through the impassioned evangelism of artists I admire; since joining, I've loved diving in midstream of all the communities that exist out there, ephemeral and otherwise. It's the final frontier...for now. For example, the news of Osama bin Laden's death broke on Twitter a full half-hour before the news networks went on air; and before Obama appeared live on television, "GhostOsama" was already tweeting from Hell. Wow. Nothing is sacred. This is an amazing world we live in.
And the picture of Niko?....totally gratuitous. ;)
Yesterday, I made some tea and sat on my back porch in Durham, and listened to the MAB interviews. These are tapes Julie made in 1997, when she was just beginning her doctoral research at Duke--she was researching venues of pleasure within the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church; her idea being that, far from being suffocated and oppressed, adherents found ways to have fun that didn't set off the sirens of the magisterium. (In fact, the magisterium showed up at their games.)
Which means that she had an excuse to interview our mother, Mary Anne, about her experiences at Trinity in the early 60s. Since I'm writing a play about Mom right now, it seemed a good time to listen to them. Her illness had weakened her at this point, so her voice was faint and breathy; but her memory was sharp when recalling things like her Senior Class Day, when she and her friends donned muumuus and leis shipped fresh from Hawaii. (She mused that this might have been when her symbol, the palm tree, was "born.") And there are sundry candid moments, too, like my 16-year-old self posing a terse question in the background, and Dad belching "YACHT."
It brought tears, too, of course. It was good to hear her voice. I'd been thirsty for it, without knowing; and when she started speaking, her voice passed through me like water. So familiar. So on this Mother's Day, I leave you with the Trinity Prayer, which was sacred to her:
May the power of the Father govern and protect us;
May the wisdom of the Son teach and enlighten us;
May the love of the Holy Spirit renew and quicken us;
May the blessings of the All Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,