No, I did not go to St. Thomas for the season. But I find that winter is plenty warm if you just stay inside and turn up the heat. There’s so much to enjoy as long as there is a window between you and the snow. It’s kind of like reading a really good, gut-wrenching novel—you enter an alternate reality, but without actually suffering any of the emotional or physical pain of the novel’s characters. Call me a wimp, call me whatever you like, this is my path and it works for me.
At times of brief thaw, I did venture out to walk the cats.
And yes, there is an extra cat in this photo.
We adopted Lorelei after Steph and her friends found her (or she found them) in Tremont one night. She was so tiny they thought she was a kitten. Turns out she is at least 12-years-old, but was chronically malnourished and wasted from lack of food. Not anymore. And she has taken to the beach as though she was born for it.
Other than these rare forays onto the cold beach, my outdoor life has consisted of skidding along icy sidewalks as speedily as possible to enter or leave some warm and wonderful refuge: the Art Museum, the Cinematheque, Nighttown, the home of a friend or family member. OK, yes, the grocery store, the drugstore, the vet, etc., but you get the picture.
It’s time to come out of hibernation though, and as long as I have to do it, I am happy to say that I’m doing it in style with two planned readings and participation in an art show in Virginia Beach. And what’s really cool is that all of these events are “ekphrastically bound.”
…or vice versa, I might add.
The first stop, made last night (Thursday, March 20 @7 pm) was Heights Arts Gallery where my Take Nine sisters and I read poems we wrote in response to art works featured at the current Heights Arts show, Alternate Routes to Outer Space http://www.heightsarts.org/events.php. I had a great conversation with photographer, Ben Hauser, whose work I responded to.
The next happening is full of ekphrastic reflections from the other side of the mirror. Nine women artists from a group in Virginia Beach, Virginia, have each created a piece of visual art in response to a poem written by each of us who are members of Take Nine! One of the artists, Donna Drozda, is from Cleveland and had previous connections with members of our group (in case you’re imagining that we are national celebrities or some such). After several of those “wouldn’t it be amazing if…” conversations, she has lead her group in making this wonderful thing happen. The show, 9X2, will be hung in a gallery space in Virginia Beach from April 1 to May 30. We are in the midst of designing a road trip that will let us travel there for a reading some time in May. While this is a bit of a haul for most northerners, even if they are poetry and art enthusiasts, it makes a great excuse to go to the beach, right? I’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, here is a taste of Donna’s amazing work (the other eight artists are all wonderful as well). She shared with me this image of the painting she is doing in response to my poem, “End of Bees.” You are the first to see it–she has not yet finished it! The painting is called “Bee Tara.” I almost cried when I first saw it, it resonates so deeply with the poem’s sense of both dread and hope for our bees. You can find more of her gorgeous, soulful work at http://www.donnaionadrozda.com
Next month, we have a reading scheduled (Thursday, April 30) at Betram Woods Library’s Poetry in the Woods Series http://www.shakerlibrary.org/. We’re calling it 9X2 in CLE. We plan to read the poems that Donna and her group responded to and will have small copies of their art works with us for the reading; this, of course, for those who can’t make it to the beach.
I guess this is enough to awaken me from my hibernatory state and send me back out into the now-a-bit-warmer world. It’s been nice watching the winter go by, though.