and now for some flagrant self-promotion...
I've participated for the second time in the SPARK project, the brainchild of one Amy Souza, a ridiculously well-connected woman whom I met when facilitating the Artist's Way group at Convergence last summer. The basic idea is that Amy has a jillion artist friends, so she matches up her writer friends with her friends who work in the visual arts. The writers provide their visual artist partner with a piece of writing, and the visual artists provide their writer partner with a picture of a piece of art, and both parties create an artistic response to what they've been given.
It sounds cool, but holy moley is it an awesome thing to have someone respond to your work in this way... and to be able to respond to what someone else has created!! The way she's set it up, you're working with someone who does something you either can't do (in my case) or isn't working in your primary mode of creation. So you're all in awe of what they've done, and they are generally also all impressed with you. Then you get to show what they've stirred up in you by creating for them. Gives me chills just thinking about it.
My first participation in the project was so moving that I actually rode the train for an hour to meet Dawn Doran, my visual artist partner, and take her response piece home with me. Dawn's response to the poem I'd written about one of my more memorable heartbreaks brought me to tears, but I'd never met her, and didn't know what to expect. When I got off the train at New Carrollton, I was stuffing down all sorts of anxieties and juggling all kinds of emotions. New Carrollton was the station I used to go to almost every week when I was in probably the worst relationship of my life. There was a lot of old junk kind of spinning around in my head... but when I saw Dawn, all I felt was this sudden total warmth and acceptance. She was a maternal fairy-like creature, dressed all in soft materials the color of new grass, with wild tendrils of golden hair that she'd carelessly put up and that was falling all around her face and neck like vines. In other words, she was gorgeous. She gave me a big, warm hug, and we stared at each other for a minute, each thinking "she doesn't look at all like I thought she would," and then we had our clumsy transaction where I took her beautiful response home in a black trash bag and gave her a pathetic little check and we said goodbye and I really wished we'd planned it totally differently. I really hope that I do get to see her again.
This time, I won't likely meet Michelle Wallace, since she lives in Texas, but her work was gorgeous and moving, and I really feel like my poetry pales in comparison... you can judge for yourself here.
Don't forget to hope
2 days ago