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Entries in writing (3)


Gratitude Project

When the lovely Kristin, otherwise known as maine momma, pointed the Shutter Sisters campers toward Flickr's Gratitude Project pool, my first thought was yeah, right.  I need another project like I need a hole in the head.

But I thought about it and it occurred to me that a gratitude project may be just the thing to ground me in the moment right now when I'm preoccupied with the urge to run headlong into big change.  I thought about where to aim my camera as an appreciation.  Then I remembered that what I needed to do more than take a picture was to catch up on some long-overdue thank you notes. 

So I came home, pulled out a favorite pen and stationery and started, in the belief that heartfelt expressions of gratitude will somehow find their way into the better-late-than-never column.

So much to give thanks for.  Today I'll start with porous point pens, colorful paper, and dear friends who hopefully aren't too hung up on etiquette.


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:

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.)


Mixed Media

52.365 18mm f9 1/320 ISO 200I didn't know when I started this blog how important writing would end up feeling to the project.  I have debated with myself about whether it's even right to have text as part of it, you know, pictures being worth a thousand words and all.  I have wondered if, on a photoblog, the pictures should speak for themselves.

But I'm a verbal person, a writer by nature and by trade.  I decided that this is a journal of my study of this visual art form - a public one, but a journal nonetheless - and since I'm learning every day it makes sense to take notes. 

I hope the pictures stand on their own.  But if they're made even better by the words, I'd be happy about that too.