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)


J. Mark Bertrand said...

And there you are in the center of it all. :) I wish I could have been there -- hopefully next year. Glad you had such a profitable time.

Karen Miedrich-Luo said...


Jenni said...

I wish I had been there, too! Next year, Lord willing.

allison said...

Yes, Mark and Jenni, you SHOULD have been there! and I have it on good authority that God IS willing you be there next year:)

Norbert said...


at the conference, did they have any pie or cake?

what time did the knitting go on til.

were there any soldiers for your crumpets and did the ballon bucket empires gestate a meticulous cloud of berry berry froodle nog sig belly doom?


luc u! said...

that monkey!!!

harold said...

can i come?