festivating

By the time this posts, My Sweetie will be back at the house. So the coast is clear for my mosaic of yesterday (Th 12 Apr) and a little of today.

I am sitting on a blond wood bench tucked in a corner below a concrete stair landing in Calvin College’s Fine Arts Center. It’s the middle of the Festival of Faith and Writing (#FFWgr2018 !) , and amazingly enough I am neither in a workshop or hip-deep in earnest, delighted conversation. I may not score this freedom again until I get home Sunday. The other freedoms won’t keep.

* This morning I woke to the sound of my hotel neighbor’s unacknowledged alarm. The bat-ears are still operational.

* The rumors of a snow-mageddon arriving in Grand Rapids are thus far unfounded. Sorry, My Sweetie! Nevertheless, I have my parka and gloves. I have my Texan thin blood to support.

* Kwame Alexander is frank and funny, articulating his inner certainty without a blink. (Since he was 3, evidently!) Read his stuff; listen to him IRL, do not pass Go.

* Serendipity seems to be the order of my days: being at the wrong place at the right time, and half the time discovering this must be the place.

The other half of the time, however, involves trekking once more over the highway bridge that I just crossed in order to arrive at the wrong place the first time.

* It is warming to walk into this huge, swirling event knowing it is full of friends (from my Glen Workshop time). Each one gives me another little rock in the rushing water I can hang onto for a moment.

* Many, many of these friends are panelists, speakers, session facilitators, signing books at official book-signings. I mention to N. how crazy-daunting it is, to be in the middle of this nexus—who am I? N. calmly replies, “Like seeks like.” And the lights dim.

* I tell C. the chapbook-making session I went to wasn’t what I’d thought it might be—I already know about page imposition^, and crafty-person bookbinding. I tell her I’ve been kicking around the idea of a chapbook (or call it a pamphlet) while kicking the table-drape. That I keep wanting a larger reason for making them than handing them to my friends. She gives me a clear look. I confess I’ve piled the poems I have thus far into stacks. “That’s more than kicking—”

* In a conversational circle, Anya Silver told me I shared a strong image. I hear N. again, inside my head. #likeseekslike

* Are there Presbyterian mystics? Where would I find them? Other than out in the woods, out of the reach of broadband-!

**

“Who am I?” seems the mate to “Why am I here?” …a not-unexpected pairing. Self-focused, like a teenager. Perhaps this is my edition of empty-nest panic: not panic, but certainly exploratory. In fact, I think there’s a workshop about that.

Time to go!


^page imposition: not when the pages insist on keeping you awake, having you cook them elaborate meals, or take them to the mall. It’s the way one must physically arrange pages on a sheet of paper so that, when one folds and trims, it all looks like a Real Book. It’s merely a skill, and a particular attention.

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