Next week Kathy will turn 50!
As part of this auspicious occasion , I, her life partner, have commandeered her blog to give readers an opportunity to know a bit more about her–though anyone who has ever read her writing, knows Kathy well, for she is forthright and brave, exposing aspects of her life that are at once glorious and heartbreaking, embarrassing and (always) inspiring.
This will be a two-part post – the first will include The Proust Questionnaire, (familiar to those who read the back page of Vanity Fair); the second will share my more personal feelings for Kathy.
The Proust Questionnaire is a series of questions posed to subjects about their lives, thoughts, values and experiences. This questionnaire became associated with Proust when the young Marcel was asked to fill out questionnaires at two social events: one when he was 13, another when he was 20. Proust did not invent this party game; he is simply the most extraordinary person to respond to it—until Kathy.
- What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Being in a psychiatric hospital in four point restraints. That represented an extremity of defeat. [For more than a decade, due to bipolar disorder, Kathy cycled in and out of psychiatric hospitals, so this is an actual experience she is referring to.]
- What is your idea of perfect happiness?
To live on a beach in Thailand with Sara, Ralph and Lucy.
- What is your greatest fear?
Not willing to share that–
- Which living person do you most admire?
My partner Sara–
- What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
- On what occasion do you lie?
When I am angry – and want to say hateful things.
- Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Wow and Gosh!
- Which talent would you most like to have?
To be a better writer, and I would also like to be able to draw representationally.
- What is your current state of mind?
I feel like I’m in limbo, like I’m in-between, restless, and unsettled.
- If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
- Where would you like to live?
Somewhere in Asia or Africa–
- What is your most marked characteristic?
That I’m easily flustered – easily overwhelmed. I don’t like that about myself.
- Who are your favorite heroes/heroines of fiction?
Two come to mind – both are narrators in Margaret Atwood’s novels. One is not named. She is the narrator of The Handmaid’s Tale, trapped in a world from which there is no escape, and yet she retains a vital inner life and shares a compelling story. I would want to know her. And the second, Elaine, who is the narrator of Cat’s Eye. She is an artist who grows up with a best friend who betrays her, but most compelling is how she uses art to represent her past – how she images her past.
- Your favorite painter?
Frida Kahlo. Her self-portraits are compelling.
- Your favorite musician?
- The quality you most admire in a man?
Don’t know if I can delineate by gender. Intellect and sense of humor.
- The quality you most admire in a woman?
Intellect and sense of humor. I would add creativity, but don’t know why I don’t attribute that to men.
- What is your favorite color?
Almost-green, not a pure green, but a green that leans toward blue or yellow.
- What is your favorite flower?
- What is your favorite bird?
- Who are your favorite writers?
Margaret Atwood–and poets: Louise Gluck, Olga Broumas, and Sharon Olds.
- What are your favorite names?
Sara(h), Lucy, Emily, Elizabeth. I’ve just always loved these names.
- What do you consider your greatest achievement?
- If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
My own dog–
- What is your most treasured possession?
Lucy— [Kathy’s Maltese]
- How would you like to die?
In my sleep, without knowing it was coming.
- What is your motto?
Live Large; Dream Big!
What questions do you have for Kathy?
The second part of my commandeered post will be coming soon!