Penultimate Potpourri Sans Poetry
By the penultimate day (next morning I simply get ready to fly out), I'm tired. I haven't actually slept a full night the entire time I've been here. Who can write poetry in this state? Tomorrow will be another day.
I go to hear Krista Tippett. She reads from her book. I remember the lines even as she says them, perhaps because her writing is so beautifully crafted, and I find myself reciting passages in my mind, along with the cadence of her voice. In a way, this experience sums up my time at Calvin. It has been about people, really hearing them, taking them in, celebrating them, reciting the good stuff to myself so I can remember it.
Similarly, I attend a session where Ed Gilbreath is on a panel, discussing "writing towards social justice." I mostly enjoy hearing him say things I've heard him say before in his book. Again, I feel a sense of celebration.
And then there is Lil. I find her at the appointed time. We meet. We talk literature and writing, though not much about publishing; it is not our main purpose. I find her to be quietly luminous. Short, straight red hair. Almost transparent milky skin. A soft strength. If we never do business together it won't matter. This encounter has also been a sort of celebration at the end of a busy time.
It seems appropriate to finish the day with an actual celebration. Ed Gilbreath takes me out to dinner to celebrate the debut of Stone Crossings. We talk honestly. We talk as peers. It is refreshing, relaxing. A happy time.
[pic: LL and Ed Gilbreath]
After dinner, we come back to Calvin and find a surprising sign (see top of post). Who would expect this at a Christian college? But there it is. "Smoking Area." I simply can't resist taking a picture of Stone Crossings in this unorthodox place.
We walk beside the marsh. I take a video of me reading an excerpt of Stone Crossings. Ed keeps trying to get out of my way as I move the camera, which amuses me even as I'm filming. I wonder if he thinks I'm totally weird. Apparently I don't care enough to let it stop me from doing this little ritual of mine... reading SC in different places and sharing it with you.
Then we walk on a nearby running path, and I try to take a picture of a lemon yellow moon rising, but instead I get the blob below. For a real understanding of what the moon looked like, one could hop on over to Kirsten's.
Night has come. Time is short. We talk just a little bit more, have a cup of tea in the Prince Conference Center, then the day is done. "See you in 2010?" Ed says.
Yes, I'd like that. See you in 2010.
Photos by L.L. Barkat. "Sans" is French for "without."
LL's Looking for Lil
LL's Body of Water
LL's Solo at the Red Sun