we could be anywhere. it’s not like a get-away at a well-known city or beach or landmark where we’re experiencing something already known with the expectations that carries. *we’re* the attraction here, this gathering of writers. for us, *this* is what’s happening… and really nothing else. we are inside this “anyone lived in a pretty how town” place. we are within the confines of a grassy brick building campus. we are inside lecture halls, dining facilities, dorms. we talk only to each other. we consider what’s on the page. we are inside our own heads a lot.
while i’ve always believed myself to be one of the crazy ones, the rebels, the misfits (yes, that’s from the crazy ones apple commercial), it’s much easier to take a stab at that kind of lifestyle when you’re not a single mom. and so i am more sensitive to the perception of frivolity now… whether it comes from other people or from my own doubts. it wasn’t until i was on the second leg of my journey (from western new york into ohio) that i remembered writing this blog post almost one year ago: the poetry MFA (or what can be ridiculous and still worthwhile).
photos of the loch ness monster, revisited go back and back to a single grainy image: a man’s outline in
i don’t want you to assume that kristin’s writing sugar-coated or romanticized the farm or the relationship. in fact, if i had to guess, the book’s scales weigh difficulty and sacrifice/death (for both the farm and the relationship) heavier than its victories. what it seems to come down to is what’s inside you begging to be expressed by love — whether it’s love of farming or love for another person. if there’s no other way you can find that bit of yourself, you commit to it. and probably a certain amount of fear about that is good.
let me begin by saying that if an acquaintance or co-worker or casual friend is going through divorce, by all means follow the advice offered by the author: keep your mouth shut about who’s to blame and don’t give any advice (emotional, legal or otherwise). however, if your sister or BFF or close friend or someone you really, really dig is going through divorce, that kind of luke-warm approach will probably be completely unhelpful (#1), make her feel further alienated (#2) and totally piss her off (#3).
tonight is opening night. i’ll be there with a picnic and a hot date (as long as i can drag him away from the pool).
the city meets my needs right now, but it may not always. as much as i’m having a love affair with life downtown at the moment, i’ve always been able to see the romance of a quiet spot in the country. some day, maybe that’ll be what i need.