I just got back from teaching three classes in Virginia Beach, Virginia, for Art & Soul. The venue was new, it was a bay side resort hotel that I found wonderful; quaint, friendly and down home. And it was on the beach, which for me was heaven, rain or not, as I sat on my balcony at the end of the day. There were old friends, new friends, and the most wonderfully enthusiastic folks in my classes.
Here is the poem I read at the beginning of the journalÂ class. It is a work by William Stafford, someone who inspires me. (He wrote a poem every day. When his students asked him how he did that, he replied “lower your standards.”)
You Reading This, Be Ready
Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent reading or hearing this, keep it for lifeâ€”
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room,
when you turn around?
I arrived at sunset.
Saw this in the morning from my balcony.
Shared the days with happy, creative people.
Wandered the shore.
Appreciated the colors and shapes of nature.
Felt very happy.
Saw this at the end of the day, just before having dinner with my gal pal, Cathy Taylor.
The big ships passed by my window, headed to exotic places.
I met friends from Facebook, lovely artists that I admire, one after another. It was good to put a real human in the space of my digital idea of them. All of my classes were filled with warm, interesting, and riveting people. I wanted to stay for far longer than I could.
Pictures are always a problem for me, there is hardly ever time in class to take them. I would like to share the ones I did manage in the mapping class. Enjoy.