Sunday, September 30, 2007

This week at Orr St

The Orr St. reading series, "Hearing Voices" alternates with the visual art film series "Seeing Visions" which offers free screenings of films on art. This is the evite for that half of the series.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Rhythm of the Seasons

Into our second year here, we are beginning to recognize the telltale signs of each season. Now, as the long light of summer wanes and crisp infusions of autumn air play tag with straggling dog days of September, the sky is a highway crowded with guests heading south from their summer vacations. Canadian geese honk as they fly over, as we might as we speed past someone we recognize on the country lanes. The hummingbirds that have been plentiful on the deck and unafraid to pose for the camera, not even bothering to put their tongues away, are thinning out. Last night a brilliant full moon cast blue shadows over the hills. The air is bountiful with celebration. Any and every thing becomes an excuse here for a festival: music, chili, twilight, pumpkins, wine, art. So we hop from fest to fest, under achingly blue skies, sampling the local foods and crafts. Merging into the rhythm of the seasons and into the generous heritage of our neighbors.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hearing Voices

The second series of "Hearing Voices/Seeing Visions" starts up again next Tuesday at Orr Street. Begun last spring by Chris Teeter and Anthony Connolly, the evenings feature two readers followed by a casual Q&A session in which the audience may ask the writers any questions their work has provoked. The event is hosted in the common area of Orr Street studios, a space greatly inducive to spurring the imagination. On alternate Tuesdays, Orr St. offers free screenings of films on art and creativity. The series quickly became a great conduit for the merging of the literary and visual arts and the local and academic communities in creative conversation. Being strangers to town, Orr St. became our lifeline to area artists and writers. This time around I'll be scheduling the readers as Anthony has begun his PhD at MU and his plate is quite full. Elaine Johnson has stepped into lead the Q&As and Chris will continue to provide really intriguing films. I'm really looking forward to seeing what transpires this year at Orr St. Shown is the evite I designed for the reading series.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

When art astounds

For those who haven't seen this, I repost here. If you aren't moved by this, check your pulse. Thank God for those who grace us with such heroically non utilitarian feats. Beauty, as Dosteovsky wrote, will save the world.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Maker

Jenni Simmons posted another version of this song (with Emmy Lou Harris) today on her blog which resulted in an entire morning held hostage at You Tube as I sampled all the posted renditions. This is a song I just can't get enough of. Although it's been covered by everyone (and I'd love to hear them all), Lanois is the maker of The Maker. Listen at your own risk.

Monday, September 10, 2007

From Columbia and back

Whew. Just back from a 12,000 mile trip around the country: from Columbia I exited I-70 and left the numbing interstate behind to take to the blue highways (the disused, time chewing byways and windways typically ignored on our maps until, say, we are fleeing hurricanes in Houston and the interstate has become a very long and narrow parking lot) all the way east to the Atlantic, dropping into the deep South before continuing through Texas, the Southwest, up the west coast, across Big Sky country to the upper midwest through to New England and down the east coast to Maryland before finally cutting back to Missouri. I met a lot of characters, drank a lot of beer and learned to rate cafes by the number of calendars on their walls. It was quite a trip and as happens after a journey of some length, I now feel the need to recover. I made the entire trip on less than 20 bucks and did it mostly from the comfort of the settee on the back porch. No gas guzzling guilt here.

I've just finished William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways (and discovered he lives somewhere nearby.) Heat-Moon writes in the 1999 afterward: "Perhaps it's in our blood, maybe it's just in our history, but surely it's in the American vein to head out for some other place when home becomes intolerable, or merely even when the distant side of the beyond seems a lure we can't resist." Such was the impetus, in the spring of 1978, for Heat-Moon's not cross country but circular country trek through the beauty and blight of backroad America, not sure in the end if he had learned what he wanted to know because "I hadn't known what I wanted to know. But I did learn what I didn't know I wanted to know." Which is why some of us are compelled to journey. Again and again, we set off as we can: by foot, thumb, car, train. And by book.

Journey often, journey well. Library cards are free.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Something to help you sleep tonight

Nuclear Bombs Mistakenly Flown Over US
Sep 5, 4:34 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - A B-52 bomber was mistakenly armed with six nuclear warheads and flown for more than three hours across several states last week, prompting an Air Force investigation and the firing of one commander, Pentagon officials said Wednesday. The incident was so serious that President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates were quickly informed and Gates has asked for daily briefings on the Air Force probe, said Defense Department press secretary Geoff Morrell. He said, "At no time was the public in danger." ....
"Nothing like this has ever been reported before and we have been assured for decades that it was impossible," said Markey, D-Mass., co-chair of the House task force on nonproliferation.

The plane was carrying Advanced Cruise Missiles from Minot Air Force Base, N.D, to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of a Defense Department policy not to confirm information on nuclear weapons.

For the complete story, click the headline. Sweet dreams.