I skipped college. Didn't drop out. Just skipped it completely. Never applied. At the time I was dealing with the decline of my mothers health. I was her primary care giver, administering her insulin shots twice a day, assisting with her mobility as she was wheelchair bound, and being her eyes for her daily experience - her diabetic glaucoma had claimed her vision. Like most mothers and daughters our relationship was textured with the soft elements of love and the brusque expressions of dependency. Neither of my parents graduated from high school, so academia was never ingrained in our household. Still, learning was always exciting to me. I was often in the library reading at lunch, more of an eclectic sort than a nerd, pondering the meaning of life and being fascinated by different cultures. About every two years my family moved so I felt no allegiance towards any group, mascot, or city. I've always moved in my own lane with my own mode of transpo.
When my Mom died - I felt as if the air had been sucked out of me. Nothing could prepare me for the impact, the despondency, the grief that slammed into me with a blunt force. She was gone. As was my father, as were two of my brothers. Too many losses. Writing it now I feel again the twist in my belly, the tension and grip of hanging on to the memories. I slowly crawled out of the pain and eventually regained focus. I never lost sight of what I wanted in life, but I was operating in a numb blur.
Some years later I was able to make a film that extracted the memories of my relationship to my mother. I wanted to carve out the emotional tapestry of my perspective. This was my first film made with the close collaboration of friend Taye Hansberry. I knew very little about cameras and editing at the time, but this project was a milestone for my expansion as an artist. It was the first time I put the voice of my writing into a visual form. Here it is. Judi : A Series of Memories.