Wednesday, August 22, 2007


My mom sent me news that we had been expecting, this morning. Our friend Marita Swanepoel died this morning, at home in Cape Town, having refused anymore chemo for her leukemia.

It bears repeating that she first planted the garden designing seed in me, a long time ago, when I was still only about twelve. I was side-tracked by other things, and it has been circuitous journey to where I am now, but I am here, and quite recently she took a great deal of informed interest in what I was doing, after we had been out of touch for many years. I was very flattered and gratified (and surprised) by her attention and admiration. She was an iconic sort of person: very cultured, very striking, an artist whose aesthetic vision was evident in her home, her work, her appearance; uncompromising, clean, warm, bold.

My mom said in her email to me that Marita and I were kindred spirits in a way, and if that is true, I take it as a great compliment.

I would very much have liked to have said goodbye. Or even just hello, one more time. Our love to Ian, and Pierre, and Lisa.


  1. Ah, sorry to hear that. It would seem she did indeed plant a very successful seed.

  2. We are so sorry Marie. Aren't we lucky to have had, and have, the extraordinary people who have graced our lives. I will light a candle for her tonight. Much love, Jay

  3. That's kind, Jay. I believe in candles...Selina says she lights one when when I fly and watches the flame very carefully to see how I'm doing. If it looks wavery she gives it a very strong talking to, and then it behaves.


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