A nice slow start to the Sunday with alarms going off and being ignored. There are only two meals on Sunday: 10am brunch and 5pm dinner. It’s hard to wake up early and then wait so long for breakfast, but two hours I can do. It’s a wet day here in Johnson, and with luck, we’ll inch up to 50F today, fingers crossed. The entire next week says it will be overcast, rainy, and around 50F. We’ll leave long before the sunny spring days and energetic flowering. At least we’ll be able to say we experienced a true Vermont “mud season.”
Yesterday morning took an unexpected turn, as Connie, one of the artist’s we’ve been chatting with throughout the week, invited Todd and I individually into her studios to talk about art. We taught her the word ekphrastic, and she’s been teaching it to all the other artists. Since Todd and I told her that we were poets who found inspiration in art and wrote about art (ie ekphrastic poets), she decided that we needed to talk more in depth together. So, I spent two hours with Connie yesterday morning, and Todd will visit her today. We sat in her studio talking about the process of her art, the various tools she uses, her motivations and techniques. We shared stories about our art, the impetus for individual pieces, the narratives behind and in them, and what excites us about our projects. Two hours very well spent, indeed. She’s a talented poet out of Maine, and you should check out her work here: www.conniehayes.com.
I spent most of the day yesterday revising poems that I’d written this week. Tightening them up, rearranging them, and then printing and tacking them on to my corkboard so that I see the progress. There are many books I want to read this week, and I’ve only scratched the surface. Next week, I’m sure, will be an intensely focused one—not that this week wasn’t. Most everyone else here is only at the end of week 1 with 3 more to go, but we’re now over half way through our residency.
Todd and I walked to the convenience store to stock up on snacks, and I dragged him into the Vermont gift store with maple syrup in any variety you want: liquid, hardened into candy, chocolate, nuts, etc. I see myself raiding this store before our departure. I found some Maureen-friendly chocolate in there, so I stocked up in order to have some kind of dessert with everyone else at meals.
After dinner, we decided to go out in one of the two bar/restaurants in town with some of our new artist friends. We all bee-lined to our studios for two hours of work, then at 9pm we all went and sat in the bar without karaoke. We ordered drinks, tried to tune out the Final Four basketball game on all four tvs in the small place, and told stories: how did we meet our partners, where would we like to travel, how did we find ourselves here, stuff about our art. Two hours flew by as we talked and laughed. We’ve all been super studious, so it was the first night “out” for all of us.
Now, it’s Sunday, the day of my individual conference with Eamon, laundry day, and our reading at 7pm. A full day even without the writing. I have a few poems to write and a few books to read. Perhaps just a little Game of Thrones reading to get me started… Then, I’ll return to the terribly sad but beautiful poetry book, Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes are Pierced. A little balance in my reading list.
p.s. I took not one single photograph yesterday. Egads!