Tuesday, April 21, 2009

this is my friend, Liz Montgomery -

and i'm goin to ask you all a favor, today.
i'm going to ask you to send out your prayers, 
your good energy, 
your kindness to a stranger, 
because today, my friend liz needs all the help she can get.
i met Liz, 
for she is not nor has she ever been an "elizabeth",
years ago, when i was a puppy in advertising.
she strode into the hallowed halls of the agency i worked at like something from the plains,
all leg and limb and shimmering hair,
extended beyond the american expectation of the female,
almost a cartoon,
but to flesh and blood to be unreal.
she came from australia, 
and she was everything you imagine the aussies to be, 
but distilled, refined, elegant in a way you could not predict.
Liz is tall, true.
Liz is blonde, true. 
Liz is buxom and lean and has a smile that destroys you, true.
but her heart, her humor, her mind and it's tricky wit . . . these were the Liz i loved then.
she and i would sit in my office and laugh and laugh.
she and her partner, annie, would go out with tim and i and we would end up leaving them, 
the southerner and the girl from down under, 
surrounded by boys, straight and gay,
drinking them under the tables of chicago.
Liz's heart, however, was taken.
Sash was the inverse of his golden girl,
dark and sweet and smooth like honey and nightshade, 
hypnotic to her brilliance.
together, they stole hearts, 
and gently gathered them into a community of artists and businesspeople and, perhaps, 
i do not have enough pictures of them.
i don't know why, and it's been bothering me for days.
i can see them so clearly in my mind,
i can feel them, and the way they would move, down a street, 
i think they will always be held for me in the startling ease of their embraces,
where you felt at once welcomed and owned by their easy love, 
or in the flash of the one shot i took that night on halsted,
as they walked away, as always, arm in arm, 
and Liz looked back, her hair a halo around her, the grin as always HUGE,
Sash just staring at her profile, smiling.
but i cannot find the photo.
all i have are these few moments:
at her monthly art gatherings, the one where they roasted pigs and made sculptures and had fire-eaters,
glass of wine in hand, looking back at tim as he called her name.
eating tapas,
kissing my man, 
liquid in her love of friends and food and the moment.
at our first housewarming, 
in the black knee high ponyskin boots that cost a fortune
but simply spoke her name
that day at barney's.
she worked those boots like no one i have ever seen,
in the shortest of skirts, with the greatest of joy,
sexy sexy sexy Liz.
and this,
years later,
sent to me for no reason, 
perhaps a reminder that though we were years apart and a world away, 
we shared some love.
some knowledge, perhaps, of what it is like to know love like this.
as you fight the brave fight that only a stubborn and fiery soul like yours can, 
i want to remind you that the love you have given
to me 
is being returned
my friends, my readers, my strangers who are reading this, 
take the time to stop,
and think today of Liz Montgomery.
as she fights her way through this unexpected cancer,
and the attendant trials it has brought her strong body,
send her your love, or your hope, or your energy.
for i believe there will come a time
when we all need the prayers of strangers to help us through the day
and through whatever night we face.
you are loved, my Liz.
again, more than you know.


Sara said...

Your words make me want to know her - she's stunningly beautiful. I'm so sorry. My thoughts are with her and with you.

Michael said...

I can't imagine how much energy and comfort and strength I'd gain from something like this being written about me. Wonderful.

Sending quanta out to your girl, every hour on the hour.

justme said...

sending so much positive love your way.

Whiskeymarie said...

I can't think of anyone better to direct all of my good energy onto today. Any sassy, gorgeous, free-spirited friend of yours deserves all that and more.

Moira said...

Thinking good thoughts, doll.

Isadora said...

What a beautiful collection of memories and thoughts. My positive thoughts go out to Liz... and thank you Landis for the posting.

cnicklo said...

Beautifully written. Its so clear how passionately you feel about Liz and her friendship. . .

Thinking good thoughts for her and sending the love of someone who hasn't had the fortune (yet!) to know her.

Gretta said...

Dear Liz,

Please get better soon. Barney's has a whole mess of boots with your name on them.

Anonymous said...

I knew only a small tidbit of Liz from our Chicago agency life, but certainly have plenty of room in my prayers for such a beautiful person. Landis, you're an amazing writer (always have been...) and Liz is stronger for it.

God Bless...

Ms. Butta-fly said...

Beautifully written. We will pray for Liz and all the women without names who suffer

dancinwithyourmouthopen.blogspot.com said...

I'm with you all in good thoughts and prayers and happy to see so many come together.

☼ ♥ Dog Mom ♥ ☼ said...

1 Kings 19:4-8
But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: "It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors." Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, "Get up and eat." He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again.
The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, "Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you." He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.
Landis, the friend who would write such a moving tribute is the bread & the water from above for a friend in need. I will think of your Liz, with her spunk & strength and people like you by her side, she will persevere!

Alicia said...

What a kind and thoughtful tribute to a seemingly irrepressible soul.
Having been touched far too closely by cancer, I can say that all she wants is for you to be there. Even if it's not good, even if she feels awful and can't talk, just being surrounded by the people who love you can bring serious comfort.
I'm thinking of her and you today.

Milann Tress John lives in said...

i believe this world runs right only because of the people loving without looking.
your energy inspires.
liz gets all the energy I can focus possible,here from India.