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One Weekend, Two (Incomplete) Lists

First, things to let go of:

  • the compulsion to prove myself the Life Of The Party
  • the disappointment that I'm not
  • the urge to dance with 10,000 weirdly dressed freaky people at the Thievery Corporation show at Red Rocks
  • the anxious stomach, at the thought of Doing The Right Thing
  • the one remaining ticket to Burning Man, to be mailed to a deserving soul in San Francisco today
  • the vivid Playa dreams I've had for the past 12 months
  • the fear that I'll never be able return to Black Rock City

I chose the quiet space this weekend, though the fleshy little crescent moons dug into my palms betrayed my fight to release the Showy, the Loud, the Fun.  It is possible that the fact that I was too busy all weekend to write proves that I still have a way to go toward the quiet space.  But never mind that.

So, List #2.  Also known as, steps toward quiet satisfaction:

305.365 50mm f1.4 1/60 ISO 1600

  • Is it weird to profess moving toward a quiet place and then immediately show a photo of a DJ?  Baby steps.  But when your brother -- who has excellent taste in intelligent music and who is really getting the hang of matching beats -- invites you to dance... and when the dance is in a dark room with no alcohol and no expectation that you'll even speak to anyone and only the impression that you'll let the music move you...  well, at that point it becomes kind of like a late-night yoga class.  With big speakers.

306.365 50mm f3.2 1/320 ISO 200

  • Come to think of it, toddler birthday parties are not famously quiet either.  But being the world's Least Organized Mom (manifested this week by my inability to plan Ezra's birthday party more than three days in advance) does have occasional advantages.  No Chuck E Cheese.  No pool party.  No Children's Museum mayhem.  Just a couple picnic blankets, some cupcakes, and a small gathering of the kind of long-time friends and family that let you know you've arrived at Community. 

Ezra will turn three this week secure in the knowledge that he got his birthday cake.  And I will keep from him the secret that there is still a vat of homemade cream cheese icing in the fridge.

307.365 50mm f1.4 1/60 ISO 800

  • Finally, I had been torn between an invitation to a salon my long-lost friend Marjorie was hosting last night (quiet) and the Thievery show at Red Rocks (loud).  I met Marjorie in a writing class years ago.  She has been cultivating a writing life ever since and gathered a collection of some of her favorite writer friends for dinner and readings. 

Wow.  Just, wow.  First of all it was incredibly flattering to even be invited to the same gathering as these people, under the guise of being a Writer.  I mean, they were reading chapters of novels they're working on and memoirs and poetry.  I took the out offered on the invitation and read the work of someone I admire, Kate Inglis.  Seemed a better option than reading aloud the glorified journal entries I post here. 

But here is what I have to say about this: the food was delicious, the people I met were talented and fascinating, the variety and quality of their work was inspiring, and I could have stayed to talk for much longer if we had not already been on the verge of turning into pumpkins by the end of the night.  I did not wish for a moment that I was instead dancing among the throngs at Red Rocks.  Thank you, Marjorie, and all your writerly friends for including me in a completely nourishing evening.  It was exactly what I needed.

(But feel free to keep reports of Thievery Corporation to yourself, people.)

Reader Comments (6)

Hi Corinna - There were so many synchronicities last evening, and one more as I read your blog this a.m.: I thought all evening how much Tom physically resembled an old friend from college, who is also named Tom -- and so funny to read on your blog about Burning Man, because the Tom I know from years ago is a ... I don't know the term ... regional organizer for BM, preparing to head off in a few days. On his behalf, I'll assure you you'll go back if you want to. -Susanna

August 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersusanna

Sometimes I yearn for quiet and repose, but my mind will never cooperate. It only has two speeds, fast and stopped. Oh, I forgot heavily sedated, but that's is pretty rare.
By the way, three days for a 3 years old birthday does necessarily indicate poor planning ability, 3 hours would. On the other hand leaving 3 days to plan the Normandy Invasion would indicate some issues.

August 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKeith

Thank you for sharing what I've been feeling lately. The expectation in myself to be all, and not in a mediocre way, in a brilliant way. The amount of talent that surrounds me each day makes me wonder, "why bother." But here's the thing, I have to bother. I don't know what I would do if I didn't write, or take pictures or spend time with friends and family. So I've been making lists too. Trying to be less scattered and more deliberate with my time, so I can do the things I love and be amazed by everything that shows itself to me ever single day. Thanks for reminding me that I'm not the only one.

August 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercarmen

Your generous response to our evening is gratifying and humbling, Corinna. If the measure of a successful party is how much the hostess was able to enjoy it, then this one was an A+. Although it was great fun to haul out the china I bought in Paris, my parents' crystal and my modest culinary skills, the real delight of the evening was the melange of talent and personalities discovering and interacting with each other, sharing and celebrating their considerable talents. Many thanks for recording the event and especially for the magnificent picture of my forty-year friend, Tom. Your unique energy and joie de vivre contributed a special sparkle to the evening in a way being the 10, 001st reveler at Red Rocks never could, so thank you, thank you for making that choice in our favor.

August 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarjorie

It's hard to image an evening better than the one you've described--good call! Incredibly good post Corinna.

August 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher

I feel enriched simply viewing these images and reading the accompanying post. Beautifully done!

August 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWanda

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