Sunday, August 27, 2006


In today's Ovation section of the Columbia Tribune Sunday paper is a feature on Wayne. Not every fact is correct but the gist of what Marcia Vanderlip wrote about Wayne and his work really captures his intent. Needless to say I am very proud of him and after only being here for two and a half months I feel we've been given quite a generous welcome. I'll be posting more on Wayne and his work in the near future as he prepares for an upcoming show here in Columbia. After that's behind him we'll begin a collaboration, our first, as we conceive and execute Station Six, "Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus," for a Lenten installation at Xnihilo Gallery in Houston. We'll be combining my writing with Wayne's art and I'll be excited to see what working together will produce.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Grandad 101

I just had a phone call from my mother who is with my sister's family in Baton Rouge. While at the grocery store she received a surprise call from her father, my grandfather. He was calling from New Orleans to ask for directions; he'd driven over from Florida by himself. Six days from now, on Saturday the 26th of August, the birthday we share, my grandfather will turn 101. I can only hope that after he spends some time visiting with my sister he'll take a hard right and head up to Missouri in time to blow out enough combined candles to illuminate the sky from here to Texas.

Happy Birthday, Captain Everett. Again. And again. And again.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Home Again

The best thing about going away is coming back home. Wayne bravely held down the fort so I could go away and even grew rather ambitious in that he reportedly attempted to boil water and make toast while I was gone. I arrived back in Rocheport at 1 am after an 11 hr. (yes, another inevitable delay at DFW) trek from Santa Fe. My girls tried to stay awake to greet me, camping out in sleeping bags on the couch in the living room. When I finally rolled down the gravel drive and onto the parking pad after the last 2 hr. leg from Kansas City, Samantha and Wayne ran out to welcome me. Hayley was unrousable. After a joyful reunion on the driveway under the dusty stars (we badly need rain), I came inside to find this banner of love draped across the windows and flowers all over the house.
Thank you, Wayne, for your generous love and support. And for not burning down the house;) You're coming with me next year.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Beauty Will Save the World

Thus read the t-shirts many of us took home from our eight day workshop at The Glen. That our week was spent in Santa Fe made that declaration only more convincing. I left a monotonous string of humid, 100-plus-degree days that had me wondering if I should plan a trip back to Houston to cool off. Heading to the southwest I expected continued, if drier, heat but arrived to witness the downright biblical—the desert was in bloom. Lush and vivid color radiated from everywhere: the vegetation, the dirt, the hills, the sky. The sky. A constant, roiling canvas of myriad blues and whites, it never kept still, an inverted ocean over our heads. As I drove in Sunday, late as a result of the inevitable DFW airport delay (3 hrs. this time), lightning flashed on all sides and then off to my right I spotted a rainbow. A good sign.

I missed Greg Wolfe’s opening remarks but made it in time to enjoy a tie-died sunset reception on the balcony at St. John’s College. And so began a week rich in many things: fellow artists from around the country, or I should say continent as I met more than a few Canadians, inspiring presentations, insightful workshops, bad jokes, incredible music, outstanding art pieces created within the week, embarrassing moments, a landscape from my idea of Heaven (when I get there, I’m driving my U-haul to the southwest corner), a local artist's studio, the high road to Taos and the low road back, New Mexican cuisine at Coyote Cafe, El Santuario de Chimayo, Santa Fe Hemp, the Robert Parker Society, the Castillo Gallery in Cordova, rooming with Karen, discovering one day old friends.

Mornings came way too early after late nights of conversation and a dorm room directly across from the bathroom. I finally resorted to oiling all the door hinges with baby oil. After stumbling down the hill for coffee and dorm food (scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs, scrambled eggs) I sufficiently awoke for workshop. We had a group of 15 contributing poets and two others sitting in. Scott Cairns, my new neighbor in Columbia, led the workshop and I got quite a refresher course in form. By the week’s end, we were feeling like family. Sort of. Could you imagine living with 18 poetry lovers?

The final evening ended with concerts by Pierce Pettis and Over the Rhine and then a worship service in which we were all anointed with oil and sent out with a blessing. And the conviction that we would be back next year, whatever it took, to again savor this rare community, this unique and certain beauty.

(Thanks to Rosie Perera for the group shot)