She transfers passion through her hands and has hung it up for all to see.
We stay with Kalani's Nona at her house outside of Frauenfeld. He hasn't seen her in at least 8 years, and when they greet she cups his face in her hands. I adore her then in that moment. Nona is a tiny woman that eats little bites of meals, yet all day long climbs up and down her steep stairs. She lives alone surrounded by her art that Lela is very proud to share with me.
I love her art.
We are with it in every room. It sits with us at meals and holds my hand up the stairs. It is subtle at first, even the big paintings, but when I sit for a while, I begin to see the complexity. Layers that blanket layers, strokes that weave into my stomach. At it's core, it is raw.
I love Nona. She tells us stories after dinner of her childhood, of her marriage, and travels and children and grandchildren. We lean in and listen, I want her to know she is special. I want her to know she is heard. She tells us of loneliness and the exhaustion of being old and it makes me sad. This is the frustration of the modern age. As the world becomes smaller with technology and airplanes, it remains big and wide when it comes to families and the ways we choose to prioritize. I am not exempt.
We hug each other hard at the train station, and when I board I cry. Kalani holds me tight while I look out the window and think about my family my grandmothers. About the Oceans, and the unravelling of time and the pain that our love is. Kalani whispers to me about being old, and I think of our hands and pray for a house filled with laughter.