My grandmother Nettie has a Yoda-ish quality about her. She is short, stout, and moves with surprising agility - she practically jumped across the room when we first arrived at her home this evening. My grandfather is different - he is slow-moving, in speech and step, and preferred to sit at the table and talk as Nettie shuffled around the kitchen, finding and presenting various fruits to us.
Our first visit to Nettie and Papa Ray's house presented me with some questions which I hope to engage with over the course of my time here in Austin:
In what ways are Nettie and Papa Ray wise? In what ways are they naive? How does that link to their beliefs, their culture, how they've chosen to live life?
How do Nettie and mom interact? What characteristics in mom have developed out of mirroring her mother, and what out of rejecting her?
What does music mean to both Nettie and Papa Ray?
How do Jeff and Damien fit into all of this?
Where do Nettie and Papa Ray find meaning in their lives? Historically, what has mattered to them? Are they happy?
I will keep my eyes and ears open. Three days here should be enough time to do some learning.