A couple of days ago, I saw the movie The Glass Castle, based on the best-selling book. The story tracks the trajectory of a family from the viewpoint of the daughter. It is an insightful and heartbreaking journey, filled with bravado, alcohol, and pain. The mother and father end up in the Lower East Side in the late 80’s and 90’s, living in an abandoned building.
We at Graffiti knew that couple, the mother much better than the father. The mother, Rosemary, was a painter and she came to a number of our events–food, care for animals, clothing, and so forth. If someone told me then that she would be the subject of a best-selling book and a Hollywood film, portrayed by a famous actor, I wouldn’t have believed it. She was simply one of many remarkable characters that were associated with the Graffiti mission–unsinkable, unique, plucky, artistic.
Small is big. She seemed like one more small life in a sea of people, but now her story has been shaped and expanded for millions. I think today of all the other amazing people who haven’t gotten a movie. What depths of feeling do I walk by every day? Who is that person really when we give out a sandwich in the park? Everyone deserves a movie.
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