Black Ice

On my way to the studio this morning, I slipped on some black ice and wiped out hard, landing on my “bad” knee (the one I usually landed on during junior high basketball games). It hurt. I felt ridiculous as I fell, limbs comically splayed like a character in a vintage cartoon or an Adam Sandler movie. Fortunately, I soon learned the benefits of injuring yourself at VSC. If you’re lucky, a gifted essayist with publications in Salon and The New York Times will sacrifice some of her own writing time to walk back the Red Mill and bring you bags of ice, fresh water and coffee to replace what you spilled, and ibuprofen. She will clean off your pants, and your coat, and your winter hat which somehow ended up with coffee on it. Later, a former poet laureate who also writes gorgeous children’s books will give you naproxen and sympathy, the talented writer and painter whom you would like to become when you grow up will lend you some magical gel that relieves swelling and halts the bruising process, a sassy, innovative collagist will buy wine and share most of it with you, and a leading expert in modernist women writers will lend you a fancy scarf to wear to cover up the wine you spilled on your shirt while telling the story of your fall.

In addition, you will receive sympathy and concerns from other artists and writers, from a VSC staff member who offers to take you to the doctor, and from a visiting artist, and by the end of the day, your fall on black ice will have lost its sting.

Forecasting the Future

Tonight Leonid Lerman, a visiting sculptor here at VSC this week, gave a slide talk about his work and life. I am a little in love with him. I found his talk/work so inspiring that I went back to my studio around 9 p.m. and wrote a long (7 page) erasure about prophecy and the future and my obsession with apocalyptic visions.

You can see the first page/section of the poem, titled “Forecasting the Future” below. (Click the picture to enlarge the screenshot.)

Screenshot 2014-01-16 09.41.34

My source text for this erasure is What Is Coming: A Forecast of Things After the War, written by H.G. Wells in 1916.

 

The Things I’ve Seen, In Pictures You Can Click to Enlarge

your little month

The title of this blog comes from the following sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay, one of my poetic kindred souls. I love the line so make the most of this, your little day and often recite it to myself as a reminder to focus on the present moment while remaining bold enough to embrace the vastness of long creative projects.

Edna St. Vincent Millay
IV
I shall forget you presently, my dear,
So make the most of this, your little day,
Your little month, your little half a year,
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever; by and by
I shall forget you, as I said, but now,
If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
I will protest you with my favorite vow.
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And vows were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far, —
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.

White Blank Page

011414_bulletinboard

When I look up from my blank computer screen or paper, I can look out the window (beautiful but sometimes distracting) or at my bulletin board (ugly and sometimes depressing). My bulletin board is not as blank as it was when I first arrived, but I would love to have something lively to hang up there and inspire me. If you have small(ish) children, I would welcome their artwork or letters, as well as their book and music recommendations. I also accept photographs, postcards, tiny animals, books, adult beverages, homemade cookies, and gifts of all sizes. You can send me mail c/o VSC by the overworked yet reliable U.S. Postal Service (P.O. Box 613, Johnson, VT, 05656) or the recently maligned UPS and FedEx (80 Pearl Street, Johnson, VT, 05656). I leave VSC on January 31st.

Also, if you are someone who happens to have my email address or telephone number, you should know that both my cell service and my internet access are somewhat precarious. If you send me an email, I will definitely get it sometime that day. I may or may not be able to take your call or call you, but I can almost always receive and send texts. It is very hard to use Twitter and Tumblr, since the internet is shared by so many people, so you may not see me on those sites as often as usual. And you will see me on Facebook as often as you ever do, which is to say rarely if ever.