Laurie Toby Edison

Photographer

Missing Tee Corinne

Laurie says:

About two years ago my friend Tee Corinne was diagnosed with incurable cancer. She died at the end of August in 2006. I miss her often.

She lived in Southern Oregon so mostly we talked on the phone but occasionally she’d visit.

I took this nude of her in my garden in San Francisco with a few sheets artfully draped between trees so she was invisible to my neighbors. Tee loved being photographed and she loved taking photos of woman artists. And she was delighted I was doing a nude of her.

Nude of Tee Corinne

Nude of Tee Corinne

It resonated for her with Judy Dater’s photo of Imogen Cunningham and Twinka .

I miss our conversations about art. I miss her “Why don’t you do this, call them, send in that” advice. And her insistence that I write my autobiography. (Tee thought everyone should tell their story.) And I miss our arguments about the politics of art and sex. We had some very fundamental disagreements and could discuss them with a combination of dispassion and passion that worked for both of us. She was a hard woman in the best sense of the word. I miss her hardness, her inimitable Southern lady manners, and her passion for her work.

We knew each other (off and then mostly on) from 1966 until 2006.

I’m looking at two small silver nude sculptures of hers that stand on my altar. I miss her.

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3 Responses to “Missing Tee Corinne”

  1. vesta44 Says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. People say it gets easier as time goes on, but for me, it hasn’t. My best friend died almost 11 years ago, from WLS. We only knew each other about 6 years when she died, but it was long enough that we each could say about the other “this is the only person who knows everything about me and loves me anyway”. We spent a lot of time together, just talking, and talking, and talking. The talking with her is what I miss the most.

  2. Lynne Murray Says:

    Laurie and Vesta,

    I particularly resonate with this post and your comment because for some reason I seem to lose loved ones around the 24th or 25th of a month, and the memorial book on my Buddhist altar cycles around the days of the month, so I have my mother’s, husband’s and father’s deaths all on 24th or 25th. All in different years (thank goodness!) but each one a confrontation the blank wall of not being able to connect after having connected so deeply.

    After my husband died, my father, who had been widowed for over a decade at that point, told me it had been like “an amputation” for him–a part of you that was removed. I also experienced it as the death of a private language that was only shared between two and now could only be spoken in dreams or my imagination.

    I always look for some ray of laughter–and oddly enough I always suggest that bereaved people observe the insanity of others who wish to offer comfort but are only able blurt out the first thing they think of about death. Sometimes taking a step back to observe can relieve at least some of the rawness at the time when you are too much in shock to know how to move away, and get stuck listening to someone explaining exactly how you will meet your deceased loved one in the next lifetime and how he/she means to meet his/her deceased loved ones. (I recently saw the beautifully written farce Death At a Funeral about a man who discovers at his father’s funeral that his dad was gay–it has many sharply observed, very funny moments about how people cope by being themselves).

    In my experience what does come from the death of someone you love deeply is totally impossible to communicate to anyone who has not experienced it. Even when you talk to someone who has joined that club that no one wants to be in, the words are often few, if deeply felt. I recently got to see and talk with a friend who lives 3,000 miles away and whom I’ve known for 40 years and the unspoken thought was how many times will we have to meet again in this life. But the only remedy was to use the time we did have to enjoy each other’s company.

  3. Laurie Says:

    Vesta and Lynne.

    Thanks for your thoughts and your sympathy.

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Laurie Toby Edison by Carol Squires

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