There’s a video of me on Youtube called simply Clare Aylward.
It wasn’t my idea. Enough people have found this video while googling my name so a small explanation is in order.
My dad had an identical twin, Bill, who was very eccentric and just completely nuts (in a good way); he was also a provocateur and he loved verbal arguments; and he came to Arizona twice last year, once in April to visit for a week, and once in June, to die in hospice care in my parents’ home.
My mom took this photo of us in April, when I’d gone to my parents’ house after work to pick up Bill to take him to the airport and back to Boston; as you can see, one of the twins looks sick. We just didn’t know how sick at the time:
Bill self-published a small newspaper in Quincy, Massachusetts called Black’s Creek. He supplemented his printed paper with videos he posted on Youtube of Quincy-area news and art; he did this because he said the Quincy Public Access cable station wouldn’t let him on the air. Bill really tilted at windmills, though; and I think it’s likely that the public access station was just another windmill.
Bill refused to be edited–he considered it an affront to his art; so, while I allowed him to film me a few times, I didn’t let him use my name as a tag for his many Youtube videos, because I had no idea what he would post and I knew once he posted it, it would never come down, and god knows what would have my name on it.
For example, in this video he took of me during our May, 2008 trip to Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA, I was really irritated with him because he constantly used the camcorder to mediate our time together; and, of course, he filmed me being annoyed! The whole day, he had the camera in my face. He posted Ipswich Idyll, and considered it a “masterpiece”. If I’d allowed him to use my name, well, my name would’ve been the title of video, no doubt, and any search of my name would turn up a video of me looking grumpy and frumpy at the beach.
I spoke with Bill on the phone last April before he came out to Arizona to visit. He said he wanted to “film” my art quilts for a Youtube. Maybe I guessed something was wrong, because I told him he could film me at the Grasslands talking about my quilts, and he could use my name as a tag; I told him he could have complete access. He sounded very excited when I told him this. I knew I’d made him happy.
So that’s the explanation behind the Youtube video Clare Aylward.
Bill promised me that I could view the video before he posted it; but, of course, he never let me see it before it went up. He promised me that he’d take my suggestions and edit the piece; but when I saw it, and when I asked him to please do something about my red eyes, he told me he couldn’t fix it. When I suggested another title instead of just my name, he said the title was “perfect”. I think his exact words were, “It’s my greatest work, I can’t change it”. I pushed a bit; and then he said he’d take it down if I wanted. Well, I wasn’t going to ask him to do THAT. I realized he really loved the video and that, ergo, he really loved me, and that was how he could show it. So instead of complaining more about my red eyes, I thanked him for his hard work, and his piano music in the introduction.
Five weeks later Bill was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer; he died 8 weeks after that. I’m glad that I didn’t make a fuss, and that I let him use my name as a tag. Which to him meant a title, and, ultimately, victory.