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02/10/2018

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Sarah Hoagland

This is what I, Sarah Hoagland, read at Jackie Anderson's Memorial:


Who was Jackie Anderson?
NO, who IS Jackie Anderson!

The most recent philosophical idea she and I were
working on together, involves ways out of individualism.
Jackie, if you and I were going to Fireside later this
evening for dinner, we’d continue the conversation we’d begun
recently about Western individualism. I’d again lash out at
Descartes and this idea that we are solitary, a unified ego,
isolated individuals, essentially separate from all around us.
There are cultural assumptions, you would point out, that we
are not taught, but just absorb. For example, the idea that
relationship is compromise, that some piece of us is lost.

We’d talk about how he was just wrong, and how this
Western cultural framing feeds into white supremacy,
misogyny, capitalism, and imperialism.

From our conversations with María Lugones, we’d
discuss how we are not individual, but interrelated beings,
brought into existence within our differing contexts and
through our interactions. Relationship does not mean loss and
compromise, but rather possibility and community. The self
we develop is not isolated. Our selves emerge from domicile:
dwellings, the places from which we grow, the places that
make for our possibilities, Lesbian possibilities, the places of
germination and growth.

And you, Jackie, you enacted these ideas that we
conceptualized, within community. We’ve each been fertilized
by you:

40 years, my friend.

Your dubbing Anne, Kathy, me and you the 4
Musketeers.

Holding court at Stargaze and Jeffrey Pub.

ILS, some 34 years. These last 12 years, the trust in the
ten of us at ILS where you could speak your anger, NO, your
RAGE.

Yahimba

Bringing complex and provocative questions/thoughts to
the Midwest Society for Women in Philosophy, energizing both
the Women of Color Caucus and the Lesbian Caucus.

Your excitement as CC fertilized POW WOW, and your
rising hope from the political insights of the many young poets
who spoke their truths there. Your comfort as Lucy and e.
nina jay sustained this work and went on to create the WOMB,
and your pride in their poetry.

Your love and patience with Mountain Moving Coffee
House, mostly not your kind of music.

Your activism always with a clear purpose—
desegregation, anti-war, working on the Northside to get
services to the South Side.

Affinity

Our camp at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, and
the work you did to make festival camping more comfortable
for the Chicago girls.

Mentoring young butches.

Our conversations about our teaching and what we could
do for our students.

Road Trips with Paula Gee to lesbian events.

Communities

And while I have known them before now, these last 3½
months let me further experience how deep is the love that
you, Lesbian Lioness, share with your daughter, Tracy, and
your grandson, Doc. What amazing people they are.

You enact a different set of relationalities, one not
fostered under patriarchy. Interrelationalities where people
come together to share resources. As you said to me,
Democracy is a lived choice, choices such as the ones you’ve
made over the years. Your generosity of Spirit, of your time, of
your space. As I think about all this, I think about the
generosity of your love, reaching into so many places, growing
us in so many different ways.

You and I would talk about how narrow and myopic
Descartes was—product of his culture. And we would talk
about community, and about creating fertile ground to grow
what we most love and value.

Who IS Jackie Anderson? She is all of us, and we . . . we
are all of her.


This is what Anne Leighton read at Jackie's memorial:

Learning from each other; learning with each other.
Creating together

Dear Jackie,

Or more likely,
Hey Jac,

In case you were in any doubt, your being dead sucks for the rest of us.

I supported and still support your decision to enter hospice. You are the only one who could truly answer the question of when you had had enough.

So you chose to seek death, or nothingness as you called it and I wouldn’t. We shared our differences - What the words meant to each of us.

Learning from each other; learning with each other.

Creating together

We laughed a bit, argued a bit, cried a bit and listened a lot.
How were we going to do this nothingness/ death thing?
Turns out that it takes a village to live and it takes a village to die.
Ok, ok, to slip into nothingness.
And I know how hard it was for you on so many counts.

Your greatest concern was your greatest pride - your blood, your
daughter Tracy and your grandson Torrence.

So we learned from each other; we learned with each other. We created together.

Riding in a car to a conference. Talking and arguing about everything and nothing. You and Sarah fighting over something only you and Sarah understand. The 3 of us writing a paper together, working on a workshop, this is the air I breathe.

And now that air has been sucked from the room.

Part of me is still holding my breath. Waiting for the return of the air we share.

But I know and you know that holding your breath doesn’t work.

Breathe.

You’re dead and we are telling each other to breathe. I was going to tell you to stop laughing, but I won’t.

Crying

One of the greatest honors of my life was lying beside you in the hospital bed. My arm around your shoulders, our foreheads touching as I whispered to you that I knew. You tucking your head under my chin and crying as I held you and told you how brave you are. Crying together. And then together taking absolute delight in the expressions of the various hospital personnel as they walked in on us.

Learning from each other; learning with each other.

Creating together

Our last conversation - you asking me more with your eyes than with words why I had hope for this world. Me perched on the bed, holding your gaze, trying not to will your eyes to stay open, as I wove the tale I believe and you wanted to hear. A tale where we have not only the possibility but the actuality of changing the past.

You thought, wrinkled your brow, gave me that small deep smile and carefully and deliberately told me that you loved my imagination. That my imagination forces your imagination...and you closed your eyes, dozing.

Learning from each other; learning with each other.

Creating together

It doesn’t stop.

You have your blood in Tracy and Doc.

We have our communities.

It doesn’t stop

Learning from each other; learning with each other.

Creating together

The air is here.

Breathe

Shelley

My sincerest condolences, Sarah. Thank you very much for sharing these remarks about Jackie Anderson, whom I never had a chance to meet.

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