Afterword from Walk The Dog by Elizabeth Swados
The singular book you hold in your hands is the final work of Liz Swados-a trusted girlfriend, a whirlwind of ideas who always took my imagination past all previous boundaries, a wood sprite who was some timeless and mysterious force of nature, and a very practical organizer working hard to get her next project done. Since her ideas had no precedent and were somewhere between street theater, opera, a consciousness-raising group, and a homeless shelter-not to mention books of words and images for children and grownups, including one that made depression un-depressing- this was never easy. Yet her projects happened, no one exited the theater or put the book down as the same person they were before.
I always left her with a feeling that my sense of color and texture had been heightened, as if no one else’s tweeds and sweaters had the same feeling, and no one else’s vibrations were as tuned as the guitar she played. I used to worry about her high level of energy-she was just on a faster timeline that the rest of us, and I feared she might burn out.
I don’t know if this is what happened. I do know that it is wrong that such energy and talent and kindness and creativity should have left the world-especially when she was a decade and a half younger than I am. It’s not right.
I can only suggest that each of us who loved her try to take on an echo of what we saw and felt in her, and keep it alive at our dinners together and in our books and in our theaters and in our activism and in the world.
Then she will be with us always, now and forever more.
New York, New York