What's In A Name? / by Alice Absolutely

A name is your first sense of identity within your first community--your family.  Your family likely chose your name for a significant reason.  I have a cousin named Alice, the first born girl of the grandchildren, and "Alice" must have been tremendous pressure and a burden of respect for her.  In my family "Alice" is a big deal. 

Alice Emma Wright was my grandmother's name.  She had five children with my grandfather, Nelson "Fred" Wright: Marie, Joyce, Doris, Nelson Jr., and Hazel.  Alice was the love of my grandfather's life.

I never met Alice.  She passed away two weeks before I was born.   For all 37 years of my life,  my family has mourned the love, strength, grace,  beauty, and intelligence of my grandmother, Alice.

My aunts have the obligatory egg plate, serving bowl, or plate that "belonged to Momma" which still makes an appearance at every holiday gathering.   Most homes have baby pictures of female relatives who "have your Grandmother's [eyes, nose, cheeks, or lips]," and some are lucky enough to "look just like her."  Alice's name is evoked during moments of praise,  "Your grandmother would be proud of you," and as a warm blanket in moments of pain, "Momma loves you,  you know that,  right?"

All in all, we are a pretty normal family about the memory of our matriarch, except we lost her while she was still much too young.  We all feel like she still had mothering to do and love to give.

I didn't live under the daily badge of "Alice" the way my cousin had been honored,  but "AE" (for Alice Emma) is on my birth certificate, driver's licence, etc.  When I found painting as a way of coping with my depression and anxiety,  I felt it was my strength and grace from Alice in my work.   It was Alice's Absolute love taking care of me at a point when I was lost. 

Therefore,  I paint as Alice Absolutely to remind myself of all the things she was and I am because of her. 

I am Alice Absolutely. 

Fred and Alice Wright on their wedding day, June 24, 1946.

Fred and Alice Wright on their wedding day, June 24, 1946.