She has died.
This writing is Take Two of my Mary Alice retrospective. Take One? I deleted it. It was way too documentary: how we met, her courage as our neighborhood advocate, funny things she said.
Take Two is a more of a meander. A water color instead of a sharp line drawing.
Haziness is itself a tribute to Mary Alice’s spirit. She will always be sort of an Earth Mama to me, bringing with her across the decades the best sensibilities of Sixties counterculture. All scarves and bangles, her eyes squinting at the sky as she articulated a philosophical point. Laughing and doubling over.
When people get old, their worlds often narrow, like a hallway that gets smaller and smaller. Fewer and fewer things really interest them. They’re left with complaints about the world’s changes, and their aches and pains.
Mary Alice’s path seemed to get broader and broader. More and more things piqued her curiosity. She listened to people intently, hands on her hips, her head cocked. Her interest was genuine and generous. She elicited ideas rather than pronouncing truths.
She was my friend. I hope I can follow her path.