Guest Blogger: Jon Lev

Stranger Than Paradise


What is going on here in this house now?

You are working on nine things at once, the house is a mess with papers, paintings, paint, metal, dolls, ….junk all over the place….hearing your question, “What bothers you about this?” a million times, swearing at the computer, helping support Jay’s retirement account, packages coming in the mail every day, furniture moving, the calendar is so full I have no idea what is going on, smoke alarm blaring, CHAOS! I love it. It feels like Viola, the person I fell in love with, the person who can do more with less.


What was going on here?

Viola was diagnosed with cancer and so much changed. Her life as I knew it for 25 years stopped. But then, after surgery, as chemo treatments began, something strange happened. My life changed. An opportunity for a new job that ended up changing my career in education became available. Tragedy and happiness can’t mix. I was traveling through parallel universes. At work things could not be going better, but at home, emergency visits scarier than I could ever describe, chemo days, throwing up, up all night, losing her hair, losing her.


But now we have joined universes again. Viola tells me, “This is the life I always wanted, I could not be happier.” She takes the words right out of my mouth.


~Jon Lev, 2009

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viola moriarty

(American, b. 1958)
Modern Expressionist Painter
2012-13 Recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

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Current and ongoing: New Works, Allegro Ristorante in Bennington on Main Street.

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