Trish in Mexico, 2015
When she sold the house with its mahogany floors and a view of a blue-green sea, my friend, Trish, no longer had financial concerns. She, who’d for decades used what funds she’d had to support caretakers of the earth, artists, visionaries, conscientious politicians, and those she loved, had to sell the home she’d built with vision and heart.
This selling had broken that heart, but she’d winked at me when she redid her will. “There’s something in there for you,” she’d said. I didn’t want to think about no Trish; about a time when I would still be here and not have new poems of presence and gratitude await my visit. To not hear the sound of her clapping, a joyous sound that echoed through her open window all the way down Withrow Avenue. “I’m helping Roger,” she’d say, perched on the edge of her big cream-coloured couch, as the ball arced over the net on her tiny TV.
Trish helped people. Helped them understand the inner core of dance and helped them locate the promise of their own wings. To anyone with a heart, she’d give a copy of “The Chalice and the Blade.” And when good news arrived, she’d smack her hands in triumph. “It’s the end of the patriarchy,” she’d proclaim, sure of it. All those donations envelopes piled on her table—for the greens, the animals, the right kind of politics, art, culture—they counted on her.
Her breasts. When the diagnosis came, she lifted her shirt to show me. “It’s the grief,” she said. “That house was my child.”
Today, I received the message that probate is done and, as I am named, I will receive a copy.
I wanted to write about that, but I don’t know what can be said.
She’s left behind a legacy of dance and patronage, but for her friends, for those who have loved her, she is larger than life and beyond the reach of the ordinary. I might say I will miss her, but in some inexplicable way, she is still here. Perhaps sipping a cool glass of beer on her verandah, gazing out to the crystalline waters of Soliman Bay.
Here is a lovely interview with Trish speaking of Martha Graham’s approach to dance.