This is Marsha's birthday, August 3rd, and when I see this photo of her I see her eyes, those beautiful, expressive eyes, caught in a pensive clarity that captures her caring and compassion.
She is looking side-wise into time, caught in contemplation and quiet beauty; that will change after the camera catches it.
And her eyes will lighten with bright sensuality and her lips will smile, and her smile is something to cherish when it is bestowed on you. The world becomes brighter.
There is more than promise on her lips, there is truth and laughter and sighs lingering in the mind.
Lyrics go a kiss is just a kiss, but if you're lucky, you can know her kiss is more than just a kiss, it is a giving of everything she has, hungry and passionate and warm without fear, even if life could have battered her with fear.
Marsha would fiercely stand her ground, even when the threat was physical, when she went against the conventions of her time.
And somewhere in that pensive look, there is a flicker of those times, when she faced pain and loss, challenged it in physical and psychological form.
She came to New York City, with intelligence and determination and talent and beauty. The men and sometimes women of 1970s New York would whistle and call to her.
I don't know how the hell she ended up with me.
But it's August 3rd, her birthday, and I'm glad she did.
I came across her notebook with her hand-written notes for playing Deirdre Sevens (when she was still called Deirdre Hamilton in the movie-script version) in the Detectives Inc. movie we did, and which became the graphic novel drawn by Gene Colan, A Terror Of Dying Dreams.
She had more background data on Deirdre than I did.
Marsha's interpretation of the title?
"A Terror of Dying Dreams"
What does this mean to me? Our belief system and what we live by is usually based on lies. We try to make life what we feel it should be or we want it to be. Lies are not everlasting. Sooner or later they will die. The terror comes from believing in the lies so strongly that it is threatening to our sanity and emotional stability. Our foundation is pulled from underneath us and what have we built to replace the lie.
Or this background for Deirdre Sevens, the social worker, in Marsha's notes:
If Deirdre doesn't have a car, she must spend a lot of time travelling with the NYC transit. If she can take a bus, she will do that because she loves seeing all the sections of NYC. She knows the City very well and loves it. She gets a kick out of all the different people and cultures and ideas. That is one reason she loves her job because it gives her the opportunity to see the differences in people in a more intimate and most of the time stressful situation.
Do I handle family members that have been abused?
Remind me to go back over Marsha's notes on Deirdre when I go back to writing her character for A Fear of Perverse Photos/A Repercussion of Violent Reprisal.
A pensive look in her eyes for that instant, that could be forever, will be forever in this photo.
But in the photos that accompany this article you can see the rich texture of her uniqueness.
From the mother running through the fields, leading on son, Rob, so young, on horseback. No treading about a worn track at a city country fair track here.
Or watching Rob at Disneyland, back when they still had machines that jolted electricity through your body, testing to see how long you can hold on. Marsha could do it; she didn't care if this was primarily a male targeted gizmo, testing virtually nothing, but fun to do anyhow. Can you imagine Disney taking that risk for lawsuits these days?
You can see her swinging down the long cable, just enjoying the fact that she can.
Or there she is smiling, underneath an old-fashioned lamp-post, and maybe those eyes reflect the light, temptingly.
Or there she is in basic black, black collar about her slender throat, smile wide, a smile that doesn't hold back.
But for me, right now, here on August 3rd, writing this late because I had to take her to the hospital Thursday, and we were at her doctor's on Friday, it is that pensive look right now that I look at, and am glad for this day.
Because this is the day Marsha came into the world.
Copyright © 2013 by Don McGregor