Talking to you rather than about you feels right, since our encounter was more personal than related to your professional and political career. We first met in Berlin in the summer of 2007 when you came to attend a conference. You were so interested in my partner Ika’s autobiography and immediately offered your assistance in contacting a publisher in the US. Then our friendship evolved around your health situation. Being a cancer survivor myself and having accompanied Audre Lorde in her naturopathic therapies in Berlin, you trusted asking me for advice at various junctions of your path. Once I visited you in New York in the hospital and tried to convince you to scale down your program for the summer: learning Spanish, counseling a women’s legal aid center in Chile and teaching two courses there at the university. But I soon learned that slowing down was not part of your worldview and that you drew your energies from your active commitments to the causes that were close to your heart.
We shared other things – went to the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, spent time together at Blanche’s and Clare’s, and had a lovely afternoon at the Rubin Museum, where I convinced you to buy a beautiful dresscoat for the ceremony in California where you received a prize. You hesitated, found it too extravagant, but finally bought it, looking great in it. I never heard whether you wore it at that special occasion.
And we shared our love for fotography. I kept sending you fotos I had taken und you responded enthusiastically “oooh dag---these are all gorgeous pictures. you are a spectacular photographer! we should have a show for you here and raise money for your film on Audre’s times in Berlin! i'm not kidding.” I regret though that you never sent me any of your own fotos!
Rhonda, you were, you are, a dear, genuine, loving, brilliant person who has done so much for women in your lifetime! I miss you with so many others. But be sure, your life and your work will be carried on!