Jan 19
12:21 am
21/21 from barbara
Dear Every,

By now you are back in Sweden. It sounds like a truly full time in California!

I appreciated your personal notes on seeing your grandmother through even when so very difficult.

I want to answer the outstanding question on archives if I can as I am a “tidy up person.” Everything is coming to an end as regards my work but I am still enjoying small food, reading (as much as I can) and seeing friends for short visits. It has been recommended that I stay at Florrie’s where we are all set up with palliative care and have a nurse come every week at this point.
I am not in much pain and once I take the meds and they kick in it is pretty much OK. I am sleeping more and more. I am quite skinny.
All to be axpected. As you see my spelling has declined as has my reading. This is the most shocking thing—to look at a word I’ve known all my life and not make sense of it. You should see me puzzle out a few things including the Times.

You wrote: Do you want to skype? Should I talk with F? Do you need assistance, or do you have everything in place?
Skyping is tiring so unless we arrive at a really important reason I’d rather not. (I did one last night with Bloomington, Indianna and my word retreat was embarassing though I tried to hide it). We don’t know what is causing this—possibly a general break down of the body.

You wrote: Apparently in its my astrology to be present at transitions—births and deaths. I have one week of death doula training, but a lifetime experience of being close with death.

How are you? How is your body feeling? your mind?
think I answered this

A number of years ago I began to research archives. I learned that archivists would not visit unless the material was organized. I began by putting the approximately 50 banker boxes into years. I laid these out on the floor and had both Duke and NYU come by. Funny to me that neigher of them really dove into the writing, the collection, but simply looked briefly and offered a price. Both were the same price and I thought my collection (going way back to the 60s birth of the queer and other movements in the Bay Area) so I researched further. I was told to make a data base so for a year I hired an assistent one day a week and we organized and counted the number of leaves (pages) in each folder within the individual boxes.

I had heard from a friend who sold his archive to Yale that I should contact them but I needed an agent. I did, Yale came, they loved the collection, prices were negotiated, and settled on a much much larger price than the original archives. Because of this sale I was able to set up a Legacy account. This is used to give awards (so far one through Queer Arts for Lesbian Experimental Filmmakers and the other for a queer student at San Francisco State (my alma mater). I think there will be another after my demise. Remaining moneys here pays for my executor to keep managing my films and pay for expenses in that area and her own work. That is Florrie who will have my estate. These small awards have surprisingly meant a whole lot to a ton of people. I had no idea. We had about 95 lesbian artists in the last round up from the first year at 70. I cover the expenses of Queer Arts to organize and the judges for their work. It’s been very gratifying and I hope more queer artists think about passing on monetary awards when they die.

Dear Emily—you can always stay in touch with Florrie. I suppose I have a few months left but you just never know.
Endlessly fascinating. I speak about right to die in two weeks here in nYC for the State Legislature of NYC that have a bill before them.

Should we do more? leave it as is? Corrine Fitzpatrick and Dancy Foxes (fabulous press!) will be working on a publication but it will be broader than death and dying. I don’t think they are including the few things I wrote to your questions. Could you put the last 2 together and send me a document when you put in this last one (and vague one about queer artists who inspired).

Should we do more, call it quits. I am not taking on anything new so this is probably it.

Love you too and honored for the conversations!

Barbara for ever