Is Corn Brain Food?

Is Corn Brain Food?
Is Coney Island corn-on-the-cob brain food? Dunno, but I DO know that all original content herein is copyrighted by Vincent Collazo. Namaste.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


My shrine-ette to Heather
IT'S HARD TO GRIEVE WHEN YOU'RE DEPRESSED. Which is a throw-away one-liner with a little truth under its mask. Depression and grief, I have learned of late, may have the same event as their source but are two discrete processes. When I'm grieving I'm in the act of remembering Heather, or
A corner of the Zen Room
anticipating the emptiness of life without her--I am, in some way, involved in the loss of her. When depressed I am in the void, unmotivated, disconnected from everything, including the memory of my beloved. Depression is the absence of hope, while grief, from within the bounds of its wracking pain, contains possibilities of future pleasure. [click on photos for larger views]

Heather's herb cabinet
Robineau Vase & Steuben pitcher & tumbler
I became depressed shortly after the one-year anniversary of Heather entering the hospital (March 5th)--the beginning of the long slide to her ultimate demise. Remembering the details of that day and the first days of her hospital stay proved immensely painful, and I think that depression was a way of shielding me from the detailed memories that were the cause of my agony. If my mind is dull and emotions are flattened then I am safe from the excruciating suffering of remembrance. Of course this leaves no room for redemption, so it is a see-saw I ride, alternating pushing myself up with weighing myself down. 

Bedroom Art Deco Vanity
It's difficult to remain unattached to her memory for long because, as I've often said to friends & family, "I'm living in the Heather Museum." Before she came to live with me I had an apartment, but in the ensuing years Heather turned it into a beautiful wonderland with loads of eye candy--in places a bit over-the-top and overcrowded, but always fascinating. And then there was the Zen Room--her interior decorating masterpiece.

Leaded glass bookshelf with Heather's abstract sculptures

The Zen Room was Heather's Therapy Room, which is what she came to call it, in which she practiced Jin Shin Jyutsu, the Trager Approach, her own brand of chakra energy work as well as an amazing talk-therapy in which she shared wisdom she'd gained through her life-experience and offered sage insights channeled from the Source. I dubbed the wondrous space in which she worked her "magic" the Zen Room, after a scene from The Rocky Horror
Heather's Zen Room altar
Picture Show when Dr. Everett V. Scott enters the mansion and Dr. Frank-N-Furter is observing him from a video surveillance camera. "He must be in...the Zen Room," Dr. Frank says with great portent, whereupon we hear a flourish of harp and bells with an Eastern flair. The Zen Room Dr. Scott wanders into is only slightly reminiscent of Heather's creation...her Zen Room was closer to the inside of the genie bottle Barbara Eden occupied in the I Dream of Jeannie TV series. But the Zen Room she used as her office, while borrowing & synthesizing from multiple inspirations, was ultimately uniquely Heather's.

Kitchen corner cabinet with antique clock
About a month ago three of Heather's sisters came to claim some items that Heather wished bequeathed to them, some of which were from their father's estate and held great familial meaning. I am very happy for her sisters to have these pieces, and the items leaving the apartment on which they made such a brilliant impact signals the start of a new era for my home and for me. Soon the Zen Room will become my bedroom, and while I intend to keep as much of it intact as possible, I cannot deny a transformation in physicality and energy is taking place.

Heather's reading glasses

Heather's winter coat
In the first days following Heather's death I would walk through the Heather Museum and every single thing I saw would bring waves of anguish as I remembered her and became piquantly in touch with my loss. It was hard to look at anything that she lent her singular vibe to, but there I was, completely surrounded by things which spoke of
Heather. I knew then that as painful as it was to be in the presence of Heather's possessions, that in time they would provide a warm comfort as they helped keep my memory of her alive--which is, of course, something I deeply desire. This has already begun to occur, and I take great pleasure in using a few of her personal things, e.g. her reading glasses (almost my prescription), an ankh pendant (a symbol that holds powerful significance for me) and even wearing the winter coat I bought her for our first Christmas together. She loved that coat, and I identify it strongly with her, but now that I've worn it I realize that it actually fits me better than it did Heather!

Zen Room fireplace
Another fireplace view
So yes, I live inside the Heather Museum, and those structures which house great artifacts carry the connotation of the static, the past encased in an unchanging display. But in some of the grandest and best museums fresh exhibits come and go, even whilst the permanent collection lends a noble aura of stability. I suppose this is the balance I wish to strike in my life...between remembrance and new adventure, between engagement in life when I can and withdrawal from society when necessary, between grieving and depression, between the void that Heather has left and the vistas before me that yet remain.  
The last hat Heather bought (left) & her famous One Feather straw hat


  1. very sweet...

    oh, my little heather...

  2. Beautiful and apt description of the depression-grief dichotomy. There are times when one longs for intensely felt sadness.

  3. Thanks, Lizzy...
    @Vince-thanks for the comment...sounds like you've been there.

  4. I identify with this line: "I suppose this is the balance I wish to strike in my life...between remembrance and new adventure, between engagement in life when I can and withdrawal from society when necessary"

    The apartment holds most special memories for me as well, for this was where my very first baby shower was held (Jan. 13, 2007). Photos from the shower show this beautiful home in the background, those purple walls, the gold... :)

    Also, at the risk of sounding frivolous, what pretty hats <3

  5. It was such an honor to host your baby shower and to be able to provide the setting for some "infant mental health"...we had such fun decorating...and yes, those hats looked even prettier atop Heather's lovely head...and frivolity, my dear, is not only in the eye of the beholder, but it's WAY's a huge part of the joy I get from being on the planet...I would generally prioritize it over many of the more serioso things in my life.