The Reluctant Writer: Something Else to do When I Should Be Writing

April 23, 2009

From Indie Grits to River Run

Filed under: Columbia,films,Indie Grits — cynthiaboiter @ 15:06

I wish I could blame the fact that I’m not writing this afternoon on the weather — it is so beautiful outside, and the clematis are blooming so big and blue and purple.  The cats are all out on the screened porch watching a blue bird couple build their next — and I think they look so cute, while in fact I know that each little monster is plotting exactly how she or he would eviscerate the birds and their babies if they could be gotten hold of.  Zora, I’m sure, (namesake = Zora Neal Hurston), would Hannibalize them slowly, Jonathan Demme-style, while Alice, (namesake = Alice Walker) who is more of a John Candy — may he rest in peace — would feast on them all in one setting a la’ Mr. Creosote.  Eating for Alice IS the meaning of life, after all.  The babies, Joe (named after our recently deceased uncle who was an expert on Faulkner and whiskey) and Jimmy (pronounced Yimmy, according to Bob, whose namesake is the still alive and kicking James Earl Carter), would likely act brave at first and then hide under the Larken desk at the first flutter.  Wimps.

But the reason I’m not writing has more to do with my own thoughts fluttering around an email I got this morning which went in to great detail about an activity I used to enjoy slightly north of us.  

Now, I know this is late notice, and as a humble patron I’m certainly not the go-to person for what’s happening in the arts in the Carolinas, but I do want to share one bit of info with those of you who are film freaks like me, or who were recently turned on to indie cinema via Indie Grits.  (For local info please see the final word on arts in Columbia at http://carolinaculturebyjeffreyday.blogspot.com/)

The Film School at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC puts on a truly amazing International Film Festival each year called the River Run International Film Festival, and today is the second day of this year’s fest.  The films show April 22 – 29th and tickets can be purchased at www.riverrun.com, the same place where you can also preview films and check out the schedule.

I have a very special place in my heart for Winston-Salem and the North Carolina School of the Arts, given that both Annie and Bonnie graduated from high school there in ’05 and ’06 (both as high school student body presidents, by the way — sorry Girls, couldn’t help myself).  I miss the school and the film festival, the galleries and all the wonderful little places to eat and drink downtown.  So, if you make it up to River Run, please be sure to go by Mary’s Of Course for breakfast and have a bite of salmon at The Filling Station, too.  And please be sure to let me know you’ve been so I can grill you with questions about how things are holding up up there.

Now this is an older, larger, better financed festival than the Grits festival and, most importantly, Grits has a different mission: ” To break down any walls that may intimidate first time media makers by creating exhibition opportunities for work that might not make it into other festivals,” and to “present a fun, exciting and enlightening opportunity for experienced and first-time media makers to come together and share their interest in independent media production.”  So check your expectations at the door whenever you visit either of these events. 

But please do visit.

April 19, 2009

Lost news? Try a cyber-cure.

Feeling a little brain dull lately? 

Missing your daily dose of acumen, humor and critical appraisal?  Like you know something must be stimulating or waggish or stupid, but you just can’t seem to put your thoughts into words or pictures? 

You may be suffering from State-Poor Blood. 

But don’t worry — you’re not alone. Since the recent axe-waving at The State s’News, a veritable epidemic of lackadaisy has spread across our fine state with the virulence of a pox and the veracity of a Pickens County STD.

But all is not lost.

Through the miracle of modern technology you can regain the crisp edge to your thoughts that can only be cultivated by an erudite commentary, a clever caricature or an artistic assessment that basically just pisses you off.  Why suffer smudged fingers when, with the click of a button, you can avail yourself of all the news that is fit to be blogged.  Brad Warthen, Robert Airial and Jeffery Day are the antidotes to local intellectual dotage, and they are conveniently available in child-proof packages located at http://bradwarthen.com/, http://robertariail.com/ and http://carolinaculturebyjeffreyday.blogspot.com/

 

(Check with your doctor before beginning this program.  Side effects may include enlightenment, informed decisions, chuckling, a smart-ass grin and the ability to speak intelligently on a variety of subjects including, but not limited to, sports.  If you have an erection that lasts longer than three hours, you may have clicked on the wrong blog.)

Indier and grittier

Filed under: Columbia,films,not writing,writing — cynthiaboiter @ 18:27
Tags: , , ,

Starting in the summer of 2002 and continuing for the next four summers, our family took an apartment in Greenwich Village — once in the West Village near the meat packing district, but for the most part we were right on 5th Avenue, within a block of Washington Park.  (One year we sublet a townhouse on the historic Washington Mews while the owners spent their summer at their Tuscan villa.  Seriously — their Tuscan villa.)  

There’s something about living in New York that is so different from visiting it.  When we visit we hurry to get to our favorite bars and restaurants, see the shows and the galleries — suck in a huge hit of the city as fast and as furiously as possible.  But when you’re there for a while you can just sort of coast on the vibe and slowly soak it in.  Pretend you’re a New Yorker.  I loved pretending. 

One of my favorites of the penchants I adopted during my summers in NYC is a love for art house films.  Sweaty afternoons in the city would often find me chilling in the Angelica or huddled in a dark theatre on 12th Street munching on candy I’d smuggled in from the Chinese grocery. I was able to sustain my addiction to indie flicks during the three school years we spent in Winston-Salem, (the kids were attending NCSA and I taught Sociology and Women’s Studies at Salem College), by frequenting Fourth Street Films and the River Run film festival sponsored by the school of the arts.  Then, by the time we came back to SC full time, Larry Hembree had taken over at the Nick and I was thrilled to learn that I would never have to jones for any cinema of transgression again.  Life is good.

And then there is Indie Grits. 

Instead of writing over the past four days, I’ve spent as much time as my butt could take sitting in a dark theatre with a bunch of other local film junkies and dealers.  It’s been heaven.

There are a lot of things that we do stupidly in Columbia, SC — governors, quarterbacks, full parking lots at fast food chains, to name a few.  But the fact that Columbia is the home of the Indie Grits Film Festival is one of the things that we do so right, it almost makes up for the things that we do so dumb.

Today marks the closing day of the 2009 Indie Grits Film Festival.  This was the third, and by far the best year of the festival and, based on its upward arc in terms of film quality and diversity, attendance, variation in venue and events, I’m already psyched for next year.  This year, festival director Andy Smith took us to four different venues and, in addition to live music, amazing food (including Mac’s peach cobbler), a guerilla filmmaking workshop and pretty decent party booze, he gave us a good three dozen films that proved to be either provocative/heartbreaking/gripping/depressing/weird/farcical/beautiful/creepy or fill-in-the-blank-with-what-you-look-for-in-a-film. 

All this, and Bubba Cromer, too. (I’ll be blogging about Bubba soon.)

There were films I hated and films I loved, but there were no truly bad films — basically, a working example of a successful film festival.

So, congratulations to Andy Smith and Tori Katherman, Larry Hembree, and all the participants and prize winners at the 2009 Indie Grits Film Festival.  And congrats to Columbia — Indie Grits is something to be proud of.

Check out the Indie Grits website at http://www.indiegrits.com/ and winners of this year’s festival at http://www.indiegrits.com/blog/

To visit the sites of two my three favorite films this year go to www.msqueenmovie.com

www.thehillshavethighs.com

To give Andy Smith the pat on the back that he deserves, write to him at andy@indiegrits.com.

April 15, 2009

Dying in spring at fifty

Filed under: aging,poetry,writer's life,writing — cynthiaboiter @ 23:29
Tags: , ,

My head has been all about high school lately — a place and time to which I seldom hearken back.  The bad old days.  But they’ve been steadily in my head since last Thursday when my old friend Marguerite emailed me that Allen, our mutual old friend, had died.  So this is how my generation will learn of its passing.  Via email.

I’ve known Allen since elementary school — another sad and oppressive period of my life that I like to keep at a mental and emotional distance.  We didn’t become friends until high school though.  Allen was a trumpet player in the marching band and I was in the flag corps.  (Yes, I was one of those girls, skimpy costume and all, advancing to team captain by my senior year; Allen became the drum major.)  We lived relatively near one another out in the vast expanse that used to be rural Spartanburg County before BMW carpetbagged in, and it came to be that we often drove into school and band practice together.  He was a sweet boy  — a furtive blusher — shy, kind, funny, big old grin.  We talked a lot. It was sometime during high school that Allen learned he had been diagnosed with juvenile onset diabetes.

Allen was in the second group of our friends who came to USC for college; my husband Bob being in the first group, with me in the third. When I finally came to school my roommate was Diana, Allen’s girlfriend, also from our old school.  A group of the boys from high school roomed together and down the hall from one another in Maxcy, just off the USC Horseshoe, and Allen was one of them.  So was Bob.  They played Rook almost every Sunday night.  They watched TV together, went to ballgames together, drove back and forth on weekends from the various mill villages where their homes were together.  And being typical college students, they partied together, as well.

More times than I care to remember, Allen, like a lot of the guys, overdid it.  But the problem was that while the other boys would bounce back in the way that 18 and 19 year olds do, Allen did not suffer his hangovers so easily.  Drinking was not the best thing for a severely diabetic adolescent.  He did a lot of damage to his body during those years.  And in the years to come, after we had lost touch and only heard bits and pieces of one anothers’ lives from relatives and the few friends we kept up with, we heard that health wise, Allen continued to suffer.  Eventually, he underwent a kidney and pancreas transplant. There were other hospitalizations as well.

So when I saw the subject heading listing Allen’s name in Marguerite’s email, I thought the worse before I even opened it.  I was right. 

I wrote a little something to honor my old friend Allen.  It’s not a very good poem, but it says what I feel, and that’s the point then, isn’t it?  Here’s to my old friend — and here’s to youth.

~~~

                                   Dying in Spring at Fifty

 

He was the first of us.

 

The boy we called Jaime

who raised the Reidville flag

and sold us pencils

two for a nickel

at the student store.

 

Smart and sweet and bespectacled

not an athlete or a pretty boy

but destined to the part

of the boy who was not

and thereby, to become himself.

 

An unlikely drum major

but they followed him

more than a hundred

onto the Friday night chalk

with reluctant, begrudging respect.

 

His body was less the legionnaire

betraying him like a bandit

sending him teetering

to brinks and bottoms and quandaries

no man, no boy should wander.

 

College taught no mercy

for fickle bodies

punishment that would

last a lifetime

a lifetime that would not last.

 

Then there was time

twenties and thirties and more

the preacher said he’d been happy

the preacher said he was loved

amen.

 

And so in spring and at fifty

the boy we called Allen

who raised the Reidville flag

smart and sweet and bespectacled

is dead and dead so soon.

 

He was the first of us.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to new readers

Hey — welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by. 

If this is your first visit, then scroll down to the  About Cynthia Boiter link in bold on the right side of this page and click on it to find out a bit about me.  It’s just below a bold Subscribe to the Reluctant Writer link that I hope you’ll click as well.

I call my blog The Reluctant Writer:  Things to Do When I Should Be Writing because I have found it serves as a stop-gap for me when I am avoiding my work (the beer book and various freelance assignments).  When procrastination takes hold, I can blog rather than goofing off by surfing through cyberland or playing inane word games in the hopes of one day fending off Alzheimer’s.  This way, at least I’m still writing.

 I blog quite a bit on the things I’m researching and writing about — primarily arts, travel and booze of one kind or another.  I also teach in the Women’s & Gender Studies Program at the University of South Carolina, so you’re likely to find a healthy dose of feminism located within as well, with a sprinkling of politics.  Yes, the bleeding heart liberal kind.

So, again, thanks for visiting — feel free to leave a comment — and I hope to see you again soon.

Cheers,

Cindi

Stir’s new column — Brett Flashnick and some Grey Egg, too

Despite an economic environment that all but crucifies the arts as trivial and unnecessary, there are at least a few good publishers and editors who are willing to put it on the line and keep discourse on the arts and arts related activities aloft.  Mark Pointer, of Stir, is one of them.

Check out the new issue of Stir online at http://issuu.com/stirmagazine/docs/stirvol5web?mode=embed&documentId=090414211529-95e5a254ad28451699c5f002c1971174&layout=grey

And please be sure to turn to page 14 to check out my new Art Scene column — this month entitled, Owning Our Own.  To those of you who have read my previous posts on the Hootie ballet & earlier on the arts community as a family, you’ll recognize a common thread here.  And those of you who have suffered my ranting on how every single freak and curmudgeon (and freaks and curmudgeons, you all know who you are) has a place in our community, then (sigh) here we go again — but this time I’m talking about a new guy.

Actually, Brett Flashnick isn’t new.  He’s always been a part of Columbia even though his work is more likely to be seen on the pages of the New York Times or the Washington Post.  Brett is a freelance photojournalist who is in the process of recognizing the artist in his soul — and is doing so via a solo exhibition as part of the Edge of the Vista event, sponsored by the Columbia Music Festival Association during Artista Vista next week.   You can also check out Brett’s work at his website http://www.brettflashnick.com/

I’d also like to direct your attention to another piece in the new Stir that I wrote about one of the oddest and most talented musical groups I’ve seen — and I got to see them in Columbia at the Hunter Gatherer.  Grey Egg is a funky and cerebral troupe of musicians who both confuse and mesmerize their listeners. Read my article about them on page 12 in Stir

And please give our Stir advertisers a bit of your appreciation for their sponsorship of such an art-forward publication.  Everyone has a part to play in keeping the arts, and consequently our culture, alive and well in difficult times.  Visit a gallery or shop whose owners are willing to put it on the line for the arts, too.  Then we’ll all be doing our parts.

April 7, 2009

Hootie patootie?

Well, if nothing else the Columbia City Ballet’s presentation of the Hootie Ballet has gotten people talking.  Interestingly enough though, many of the people talking don’t know what they are talking about.  And I don’t mean that in a snide way — I mean it literally.  So many of the people with opinions on the subject either did not attend the ballet or never had any intention of attending it.  Which raises the question — how did they arrive at such incredibly authoritative positions on an arts adventure that they had absolutely no authoritative information about?  Fascinating.

I mean, I’ll be the first person to admit that if one really doesn’t care for the repertoire or the style of a musical group then ones chances of enjoying seeing them perform drop dramatically.   The thoughts of seeing someone dance out an interpretive piece on the work of Toby Keith or Kenny Chesney, for example, makes me a little nauseous.   So in other words, if you don’t like Hootie, then you don’t like Hootie and you’re dismissed from the discussion.  You didn’t do anything wrong — you’re dismissed because you don’t have an open mind about Hootie, having already arrived at a stance on the music, very much the way that my closed mind would disqualify me from the discussion if we were talking about a Toby Keith hoe down.  And again, let me just say ugh.

Music having been dealt with, then let’s move on to dance.

It is quite fashionable to criticize one ballet company or another in this city, dependent primarily upon who you know who dances or what you’ve heard about the artistic director.  There are really only a handful of folks who regularly attend the majority of dance events in our city.  I know this because I am one of them and I see who else is there.  Given this rather unscientific conclusion that I have made, I posit the obvious — that having seen only one or two performances by only one or two companies does not make one an expert on Columbia ballet, and certainly does not make one capable of predicting the quality of dance that will be showcased on any given night. 

In other words, for every principal dancer in a company, there is the dancer who just barely made the cut – hence there is a wide variety of talent on display no matter what company you’re talking about.  Factor in the good nights and bad nights that every dancer experiences with the dancers who may be dancing corps roles now but are on the cusp of breaking through to soloist positions (and these really always are the ones to watch — the ones who are still fighting their way up), and all predictions are off. 

Therefore, if you are a person who, a priori, arrived at the position that the Hootie ballet arts adventure was going to be sub-par based on the assumption that the dancing and or choreography was going to be poor, then you have shot yourself in the foot and therefore don’t have a leg to dance on.  Not because Columbia City Ballet is always good, but because Columbia City Ballet, like almost all arts organizations, is sometimes good.  It is absolutely illogical to summarily dismiss an arts event because you think you are certain an event is going to suck. 

Now, I’m not talking chances here as that would require mathematical abilities I do not care to engage.  What were the chances the show would be good or the chances it would be bad — yeah, I’m not going there.  It should also be said that if you have seen a specific artist or arts organization many, many times, as have some of our local ballet aficionados and, through your exposure, you have learned that you do not care for the particular dance or choreography coming out of a specific camp, then I am not talking to you.  You have made an informed decision, rather than floating along on the breeze that is popular discourse.  That is the prerogative of someone who really follows the arts.

I bring the whole argument up primarily in response to comments made on the Free Times blog about the Hootie ballet, prior to the ballet event.  Most people who commented were either definitively certain the performance would suck or definitively certain the performance would be stellar.  Neither stance made much sense prior to the show.

But what I’m really talking about here is not logic or premature and ill-informed judgement.  What I’m really talking about is the vast number of luke warm arts patrons out there who, let’s face it, want to look cool.  And that, my friends, is just sad.  With barely enough artistic energy to combat the nay-sayers who argue that there is little to no room for the arts in our economically threatened environment at all, how silly is it for patrons and artists themselves to expend an ounce of that valuable resource on becoming nay-sayers as well?

When it was all said and done, the show wasn’t bad; it wasn’t bad at all. 

But interestingly, having seen the show both Friday and Saturday nights due to ticket issues, the Friday night show was quite different from the show on Saturday night, which I preferred by far.  And this proves my point again.

I’m not an expert on ballet, but I am quite good at being a ballet patron, having seen upwards of a hundred performances by companies like the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Royal Ballet, Miami City Ballet, the Cullberg Ballet, the Kirov, the Bolshoi and more, not to mention quite a few by the student company at the NC School of the Arts and almost everything any of our local companies have done for the past twenty years.  That said, there were some fine moments in the Hootie Ballet.  Regina Willoughby and Maurice Johnson are beautiful dancers even when they are just taking class, and Katie Smoak and Jose Serano have enough energy and stage presence for the entire company.  Of course, as an armchair artistic director there were certainly things I would have done differently, (most notably doing away with the finger spin at the temple crazy mime in I Only Want to Be With You), but who knows how it wouldhave turned out.

But one thing I can safely say is that the crowds for the most part were happy.  And if just a few of those first-time ballet go-ers come back to see this company or another company dance — or if they learn that the arts aren’t quite so stuffy as they thought and they come out for Artista Vista, or to see a play at Trustus, or they hit a gallery opening and check out some visuals and munch on some free nuts — then good.  Good for William Starret, good for all of Columbia ballet, good for Hootie, and good for Columbia.

Good for the world of art.  Good for the world.

(Disclaimer — I am a Hootie junkie.)

April 4, 2009

Flash Fiction — Releasing Raylene

I was recently honored to be the inaugural winner for fiction in the South Carolina Writers’ Workshop Quill Contest.  I submitted a short, short piece — typically termed “flash fiction” and was awarded a small but thoughtful prize.  It was a fun little piece that, like Dobie, another flash fiction winner in a Women on Writing contest sponsored by WW Norton, seemed to flow fairly effortlessly — very much the way you might tell a story or share an anecdote.  The lightness of this piece is a bit of a departure for me and, since it’s short, I thought my astute readers my get a kick out of it.  Here is Releasing Raylene.

Releasing Raylene

By Cynthia Boiter

 

The idea that anything Lula said could be something other than a hoot had never crossed Raylene’s mind.  She loved going to the little mill village beauty shop for the banter and the foolishness as much as she did for the attention Lula gave to the top of her head.  She had tried to convince herself that the conceit of an occasional shampoo and set was something she did more for her husband than for herself.  But when Dewey got the call from the Lord to become the associate pastor of the Church of the Beloved Body of Christ the same week that a Saturday morning slot opened miraculously at Lula’s shop, Raylene was convinced it was the Lord’s will her hair be pretty.  So she booked herself in perpetuity.  In some ways she did it for Dewey; in others, she did it for the Lord.

            Lula had a knack for working people up.  She would read a story about a half baby – half alien in The National Enquirer, or see a segment on 60 Minutes about a campground full of bigamists, then relay a portion of the information she had learned to the women in her shop, embellishing the parts she could not recall.  Raylene would hear snippets of Lula’s latest broadcast in line at the A & P, or catch a familiar phrase before the chatter died down in Sunday school, and know what was on everyone’s mind.  Always on her best behavior, Raylene rarely took part in any discourse that teetered near the theatric.  Even as a grown woman, there was enough little lady in her to know when to best look at her feet and smile.   

But on the rare morning when business at the shop was slow, or if Lula wasn’t feeling hoarse from a hard week’s work, she would occasionally engage Raylene as her private audience.  No stranger to the shortfalls of humanity, Lula could be counted on to apply pristine judgment to the workings of the world.  It was with this prudence that she introduced Raylene to the concept of the women’s libber.

            “Right there in the road with both Bert Parks and God looking on,” Lula rasped, her voice hardly a whisper but the certainty of scandal in her eyes.  “Hairspray, curlers, make-up, what have you, right into a fifty-five gallon drum.  Some even threw in their bras and girdles, if you can believe that!  Stripped ‘em right off their bodies, tossed ‘em in, and – whoosh!  Up in flames!”

            It wasn’t that Raylene was insensitive to Lula’s distress at the destruction of articles of beauty.  In fact, the very idea of throwing away a perfectly good lipstick made her gasp.  But the thought of summarily dispensing with a bra struck a tender nerve somewhere near her breastbone and she felt herself squirm beneath the elastic, lace and wire.  The kind of woman who wore her brassier like a second layer of skin, the concept of not wearing it was as foreign to Raylene as going barefoot in the rain or dancing in the street.  She wore her bra like she wore her own smell.  The only thing she took off her body less than her bra was her wedding band – because it needn’t be laundered or changed.  Raylene wore her bra to shop in, to clean in, and to sleep in.  It was the last thing she took off before bathing and the first thing she put back on.  It wasn’t that she wanted to wear it, or that she even liked wearing it.  She had made no conscious decision in the matter.  She wore her bra because that was what women did, which was all she thought she needed to know.

            Raylene left Lula’s shop that Saturday morning with an uneasy feeling swimming about her head.  Try as she might she couldn’t shake Lula’s story and, throughout her walk home, she revisited the idea with a guilty sense of confusion.  Never one to notice her own body, much less that of another woman, Raylene began to let her eyes slide down the faces of  the women she encountered to the area below their chins and, finally, to their breasts.  Aware that God could read her every thought she quickly reassured both Him, and herself, that she had no untoward interests in the women; their brassieres were where her interests lie.

But once the day’s duties were done and she found herself alone in the little tile bathroom where she freshened and changed her clothes, her own image in the mirror caught her eye.  Raylene couldn’t remember the last time she had looked at her body; it was as much a stranger to her as it was to Dewey, who sought only specific parts and then in the quiet ambiguity of the dark.  The woman in the mirror wore white cotton panties below a sturdy brassiere that crossed her heart neatly, leaving a narrow ribbon of flesh in between.  Eyes closed, Raylene slid the fingers of one hand down her neck, across her shoulder and under the strap. The cool touch of her hand gave way to a deep and glowing warmth.  She took a breath and let her palm move further down, across skin that felt sumptuous – like peach fuzz.  There was a roundness below she could sense as much as feel – a whole, satisfying, centering roundness that took Raylene’s thoughts out of the bathroom and into her summer garden where she cupped her palm around the imperfect sphere of a ripe tomato, full and warmed by morning sun.  It took her into the sweet smells of her morning kitchen, where a raised mound of dough was firm, living, ready to reinvent itself as hot buttered biscuits.  It took her to the furry belly of a childhood pup – round and wonderful and sated with absolute trust.

The grind of gravel in the driveway told her that Dewey was home from the church.  Out the window she could see the splat of fresh spring rain dot the windshield of his car.  His keys jingled in the back door then, slam, and all the air in the house pushed through the doorways and walls.

“I’m home,” he called as he sifted the mail in his hands.  He could hear the pat of Raylene’s feet down the hallway and through the kitchen, then away toward the back porch and door.  He looked up into the emptiness of the kitchen and realized she was gone. 

The rain, no longer a drizzle, ran in sleek rivulets down the window panes that looked out Raylene’s kitchen onto the street and the houses and shops and churches beyond.

“Raylene?” Dewey called, wiping the fog from the window.  “Good God, Raylene, where are you?”

And in the middle of the tar and gravel road that took the woman everywhere she went in the world in which she lived, Raylene stood, feet bare, face raised to heaven, arms extended like a wind mill in the steady rain that streamed and puddled in a tender valley between her breasts, separated from the world by nothing more than a thin layer of cotton and the unmistakable veil of joy.  

 

April 1, 2009

Anne Boudreau and Jesus Bugs

Filed under: poetry,procrastination,SC Arts,writer's life — cynthiaboiter @ 19:21
Tags: , , ,

I’ve spent the day trying to write an article for Lake Murray Magazine about the artist, Anne Boudreau.  Anne is a glorious textile artist whose fabric sculptures mesmerize me.  Her abstract pieces are stimulating and intriguing — it’s hard to take your eyes away from them.  And her more expressionist pieces, the ones she is working on now for her exhibition opening in May at 701 CCA, seem to almost embody life.  I look forward to seeing them balanced, as they will be, in the air around them — moving with the environment, with the breeze.  Should be lovely.

But I write that I’ve been trying to write and I mean that literally. Today I have most certainly been the reluctant writer.  Spring, house painters, a noisy skill saw — all these distractions have championed me as I’ve tried to give Anne’s art the words it deserves.  At one point, I stopped and took a walk down the lane that leads to Muddy Ford.  I spent a few moments peering over the cedar fence Chuck built for us to bridge the small creek on the front of our property.  These are the words that came so easily then.

 

Jesus bugs walk across the water

of the creek below our house.

Yolk colored pollen drifts from a sky

the color of baby powder

and I raise my hands

like a supplicant

to feel on my fingertips

the sensation of talc.

 

The wisteria has been born again, I see.

And in the dogwood blossom

carmine corners remind me.

Miracle.

 

The article isn’t finished yet, but at least something is.

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