Elena Louise Richmond, Seattle native and graduate of Whitman College, is a musician, writer, water-colorist, and teacher. Her first book is 99 Girdles on the Wall, a memoir about holding in, letting go, and coming to grips.
Here’s what she says about herself: “Artist” is a way of being in the world. It’s a state that finds me although I can sometimes seek it out. The patterns of life show up in every medium. Whether writing, painting in watercolors, singing, teaching, or just living in the world, I hold on to something I am conscious of –call it technique– while something unknown rises up, swirls around and offers me a ride.
Books by Elena:
99 Girdles on the Wall
“For her estate sale, I nailed my mother’s twenty seven girdles to the wall of her bedroom. Girdles, instruments of torture that impede the breath, and imprison joy were emblematic of her repressive influence. Even when she lay dying, she had the energy to tell me to put my knees together.”Elena Louise Richmond
Sometimes a sense of the absurd was all she had, but finally the elastic was no longer binding. It had taken 35 years to extricate herself from a repressive fundamentalist upbringing, an emotionally disturbed mother and an alcoholic father. In her late forties, Elena finally fell in love with her own life. The influence of an exotic aunt, a Buddhist singing teacher, a psychoanalyst as stubborn as she was, the wisdom of her music students, and the pilot light of her own spirit, hidden for decades under depression, helped her find her way.