Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Day 4: Wednesday, April 3, 6:50am in the Studio

It’s a clear blue sky morning, the sun coming up a little too brightly in my window, so that I see the speckles of dust on my glasses. Time to move the chair out of the son’s direct gaze.

A full day yesterday, with the morning fully devoted to my work-study assignment. With the snow whipping around all morning, it was nice to stay in the same building between breakfast and lunch.

After lunch, it was time to settle into a little fun reading to get back in the groove. I’ve allowed myself one fiction book on this trip: book one of Game of Thrones. Of course, every book I chose not to bring is in the library, so there are plenty of opportunities for other distractions. So, I soaked up a little of the Stark family’s problems and lost myself in the geographies of the seven kingdoms.

I then spent the afternoon diving into a book I picked up years ago in a thrift store, Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey. While none of my direct ancestors took the journey out to California or Oregon, they did all trek west at some point—whether from Scotland, the Netherlands, Germany, or Ireland. They made their way to Michigan, Chicago, Iowa, and Missouri. What’s interesting about this book, is that it describes how families met up in towns alongside the Missouri River to purchase supplies and furnish their wagons. One of these towns was Independence, Missouri, where dad I stayed a few weeks ago. Only about thirty miles from Odessa, where most of our Ewings settled, I’m curious as to whether our families felt the itch, or whether they were comfortably rooted in their farms and had no desire to do the grand trek.

For a short break, we went to the bookstore in town, Ebenezer’s, and we scoped out the selection for our later indulgence. South African music played throughout the tiny store, and I felt quite nostalgic. The poetry selection was fantastic, and according to Todd, one of the best he’s seen—especially in a small bookstore. Yet, with a little college in town and a bunch of writers coming every month to the Studio Center, they have an ideal audience.

I went to the little café in town with the vain hope that they would have vegan desserts, or at least a chocolate chip vegan cookie. Alas, who needs chocolate? Well, fruit for dessert isn’t all that bad J

After dinner last night, we gathered up some games and went into the Writers’ library in Mason House for some good ole competition. With the electric fireplace roaring, skip-bo came out. Score: Maureen 1, Todd 1.

Today’s agenda is a little unknown. I’m going to try and participate in the live figure drawing session this morning. They have models come every morning for the artist’s to pose and draw/sketch/paint. I’ve never been to one of these sessions, and since I write poems about art all the time, I thought it would be fun to write about the making of the art in actual time.

The visiting poet is arriving tomorrow, or later today, Eamon Grennan, so I’ve turned in my poems for him to review in a private workshop on Friday. Today I must write some new ones for the project, breathe a little fresh air into them. It's also time to add more to my little genealogy wall I've got going: 

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