I've thought so much these last few days of Jan's influence on me. I've read on facebook and other websites about the impact she had on so many people. The thing I keep coming back to is that it wasn't just a way of seeing art but a way of being in the world. Many have mentioned that it wasn't unusual for a student to cry at some point in her class. I wasn't one of them but I understand why someone would. I always left her class exhausted. Jan insisted on you being present. She insisted that you show up in your art. She made you look at what for some may have been too uncomfortable to recognize. She made you see the little spaces in between, all the parts. And she called bullshit when you refused. I've struggled so much in my life with this idea. A good friend of mine has been writing a book for years about his demons. We talk a lot about the artistic process and how your demons won't let you see all the parts for fear that if you saw all the pieces, you would solve the puzzle and the demons would lose. Jan insisted that you see all the parts. It was painful sometimes. I've made some internal adjustments this week in honor of her. It's scary which is how I know that it's the right thing. I've been shaking for days. I feel foolish saying that I miss her after not seeing her for years but I feel the loss of her presence. A friend recently wrote,
"She lives on in so many of us and certainly a privilege, if so. I do think she knew she was loved by her sprouts. let's try to make her proud".
I will. Thank you, Jan.