Back from my summer residential at Pacifica and it has made me ravenous for stories! We did an amazing workshop with Ginette Paris and now I just want to amass a huge vocabulary of images - written and visual both. That's the big draw right now.
Monday, July 21, 2014
Sunday, July 13, 2014
I'm getting ready to go out to school this week, so I'm just going to share two things that made me smile recently. One is Mr. Grape. I have no idea what the grapes themselves are like, but I loved the packaging. "What will make these grapes stand out?" "I know - we'll call them Mr. Grape!" I just seems so The Simpsons to me.
And then I was talking with a friend about my new, and beloved, writing practice and how I have no interest in if anyone ever sees what I'm doing, that I just love getting up early and seeing what appears on the page. He recommended this poem and I loved it!
Between Races by Charles Bukowski
I know that I'm not supposed to bother
you, he said.
you've got that right, I
but, he went on, I want to tell you
that I was up all night
I've read all your
I work in the
oh, I said.
and I want to interview you for
no, I said, no
why? he asked.
I'm tired of interviews, they have
nothing to do with
listen, he went on, I'll make it
easy for you, I'll come to your
house or I'll buy you dinner at
no, thank you, I said.
look, the interview isn't really for
our paper, it's for
me, I'm a writer and I want to get
out of the post
listen, I said, just pull up a chair
and sit down at your
no interview? he asked.
no, I answered.
they were coming out on the track
for the next race.
talking to the young man had
made me feel
they thought that writing had
something to do with
the politics of the
they were simply not
in the head
to sit down to a
and let the words bang
they didn't want to
they wanted to
I got up to make
no use letting a little
Saturday, July 5, 2014
I feel so grateful for all the wonderful things I'm exposed to through Pacifica! Our assignment for this week was to watch The Snow Walker. For some reason I was really resistant to this movie. I checked it out from the library a while ago and ended up having to turn it back in unwatched. I then bought a copy cheap off of Amazon just to keep things simple and again I just put it on the shelf until this week rolled around. And, of course, once I actually watched it I fell completely in love. Who's surprised?
I then read the short story that the movie is based on (after watching the Making Of, of course), "Walk Well, My Brother" by Farley Mowat, which can be found in a collection titled, appropriately enough, The Snow Walker. Then I fell completely down the Inuit rabbit hole and watched this, which speaks for itself.
So much goodness!!
Sunday, June 29, 2014
I'm in the middle of an eleven-day stretch at work, so I thought I'd share this poem by Pat Schneider that I read this morning and fell in love with:
The Patience of Ordinary Things
It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back.
And the lovely repetition of stairs.
And what is more generous than a window?
Sunday, June 22, 2014
I've been able to work ahead a little bit with my discussion posts for school and I was so excited when I got to the linked haiku assignment that I thought I'd share it with you here. It's so fun to think of connecting prose and haiku to create a little word movie. I hope you enjoy it, too!
There are home movies from the late ‘60s of my father carrying me as a crying toddler through the lush gardens at my grandparents’ house, holding me suspended over the plants and flowers, showing me a close-up view of the place that meant so much to him, trying to soothe me, teaching me to find refuge in nature. Now, several decades later, it’s the natural world we return to, where we find points of connection. “Look at this!” we say across the distance. “Ah!” the other one says.
by the Pacific –
circling and swooping up
the swallows are back
goldfinches all day
downy woodpeckers give chase –
springtime in the South
each in our own world
the silver moon rises high
miles away from us
Also, if you're in the mood for poetry these days, like me, check out the new Poet Laureate, Charles Wright - he's rocking my world!
Sunday, June 15, 2014
My class for school this quarter is "Time, Place, Space, and the Ecology of Creative Expression" and I'd just been reading the new posts on the discussion board that included a conversation about rain along with a classmate's beautiful photograph of a double rainbow from where she lives in Hawaii as well as several conversations about crows, when I pulled myself away to get dinner going. That's when I looked out the window to see this! And they hung around, like "Take the picture already!" This is sort of how it is feeling over here these days, like everything is connected and the pieces are falling into place. In my experience these phases never last for long, but I've learned to enjoy it while it's happening.
Sunday, June 8, 2014
My sweetie and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this week. For years we'd talked about going to Venice, then it was New York City, and then a short boat ride on the Cumberland River. But life had different plans for us. Instead we had a wonderful day of creativity and conversation - just like 20 years ago, but deeper and richer. I haven't always thought I was one for commitments. Left to my own devices I can be a cut-and-run kind of gal. But I had the good fortune to marry someone who really grounds me and helps me to grow roots. Growing up I moved a lot and I think that factored in to my natural ability to just drop things and go to something new, especially when things get hard. And I'm really grateful for the variety of experiences I'd had by the time I met Rodg in my early twenties. But since then I've been married for 20 years, lived in my house for 16, worked at the library for 14, and been with my farmers for 13. I've been able to see what it's like to stick around, to go through the challenges and grow together, and the vast rewards that come out of it all. I was reading an interview with Pete Seeger in the Sun this week and a line from it jumped out at me: "You may not decide you are going to live for the rest of your life where you were born, but wherever you decide to settle down, stick it out." I feel so lucky to have ended up in such a sweet life and so grateful to have learned how to stay. So it really felt just right to spend our anniversary here, in this beautiful life that we've created together. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.