Monday, November 15, 2010

A Good Dose of Fall Creativity

It's been a great fall for sparking the creative. Started with the Cliff Notes Writing Conference/Hogsback Heritage Project with faculty David Lee, Dianne Oberhansly and Gailmarie Pahmeier. Dave was incredible as always. His direction for the Hogsback Heritage Project "Artifacts" got me going on a pretty good poem for the project. Dianne inspired me in so many ways. Gailmarie was new this year to the workshop and had several writing prompts that will keep me writing throughout the winter. I think each of their readings were about as good as you can get. Dave was reading from three new books released this year as well as from a couple of new ones that will be out in the future. Dianne's family piece was funny and encouraged me to think of my own family stories that I might take to written. Gailmarie was amazing as well.

Following our workshop was a six week writing workshop Writing the Rhythms of the Land that was put on by Boulder Community Alliance and Red House Farm with Billy and Grace. I only participated in one of the workshops but was able to attend all but one of the weeks. I picked this one because it included writing but also had elements of movement and sound but mostly because it made me very uncomfortable, especially the sound portion. I learned a lot about my self in my uncomfortableness. How being self conscious can get in the way of some incredible things, especially if you succumb to the compulsion to avoid that which makes you self conscious. These workshops ended on Saturday by bringing all the groups together to share pieces they had created in the workshop. It was open to the community and the pieces were shared in a rebuilt silo that included a circle of chairs around the silo all filled with people and then the floor covered with people sitting until you wondered if this floor could hold such a group. There were kids from age 7 to teenagers to ever age of adult. There were probably 50 people not all having participated in the workshop but it truly was a great event of creativity and community. I enjoyed getting to know Grace in this workshop. She is a great teacher of the creative. Below is one of the pieces I wrote from a prompt of writing what you believe. I read it in a silo located on the property that once belonged to my great grandfather John King.

What I Believe

I believe each of you has value, some of you just don’t know it yet. You must look back to the beginning before you started to believe other people’s words. I believe there are daily opportunities to demonstrate faith throughout your life. Call it what it is. I believe in children, they are always our hope for a better future. I believe in a good night’s sleep to settle and sort the best thoughts and breakfast for implementing them. I believe that each of us will always learn more from something that is challenging than from easy. I think secrets are rarely a good idea but something you must keep for a time until the person who owns the secret realizes that as well. I believe in honesty except for those small things that include judgment. I am against drinking milk from the carton and believe it is best to rinse milk from the cup before putting it in the sink. I believe you should never give up on your parents or your siblings until you have figured out why you got them and resolve the issue. I believe the stories of old people have the power to transform the future if we listen. I believe girlfriends are a necessity for all women and a hot bath can cure most ailments. I believe in eating off the fancy dishes, drinking from stemware, and wearing my most beautiful jewelry. I believe in socks in the winter and comfortable shoes always. I judge men by how much they truly like women and I judge women by how interesting their children, either those they birthed or dreamed, become. I learn most about both men and women by the books on their bookshelves. I believe art is a worthwhile investment even though you will never recoup the money you spent. If a dog likes you, that means something and if cats like you as well, you are truly something special. I believe in the power of touch and also its ability to damage when in the wrong hands. I think preteen girls can show us what incredible means and we could all learn to play from little boys. There is nothing more interesting than the language development of a two year old. Read every chance you get. Sing at least once a week whether you let anyone listen, that is up to you. Dance even when no one knows that’s what you are doing but always dance out loud with someone you love. A smile can change someone’s day but laughter changes everything. Everyone must have some creative outlet or they will explode, find yours. Sit outside often and don’t forget to look while you sit there. Nature calms and cures more than any church but go where you need to find the spirit and never judge someone else’s place. Drink water, eat chocolate, and pay attention to the moon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Retiring Life

It is amazing all of the things one can become involved in for the retired life. Today's Grandma really isn't going to be sitting in that rocking chair except for a quick break. Election Day brought a new job as Garfield County School Board member. With that there will be a lot of preparation to get up to speed and being able to do it well. I'm excited to find ways to improve education for the students of Garfield County. I'm also working with a group of people here in Boulder to set up an arts council. This will be fun to see how we can get the community involved in creating the council and then putting together great art events as well. I'm also trying to help the Escalante Heritage Center figure out how to raise a couple of million dollars for a new center that spotlights the Hole-in-the-Rock Expedition. Finally, I'm involved in the usual planning for the Boulder Heritage Festival for July, 2011. My personal goal for this year is to write more. That tends to be the thing that gets pushed back a bit more but I'm hoping with more alone time and the quiet of winter coming on that I will get at that goal better. We finished up another incredible creative writing conference last month and that should inspire me way into February.

So retirement is just right with getting to choose the things that I want to do but still having time to visit the kids and the grandkids. Travel is a little more reduced this year from last year, but that's ok too. I do love my life and living it in the most beautiful place in the world.