Tiptoe Thru the Inn and Geneva
After flight delays, long rides through heavy snows, a quick bite of pizza with Dean and Nancy Smith and a wonderful English teacher (Megan, who loves theories... oh, what was your husband's name? :) , a presentation and a good conversation with Keith Martel and a group of Geneva College students, it is late and cold. I arrive and the lights are on.
This is the inn where I will find a silent room upstairs, a generous breakfast of quiche, fruit, blueberry bread and two kinds of juice (but I forego the juices for green tea).
It is too cold to sit on the porch the next day. I speak in the morning to a group of 1300-ish students in chapel, then at a Faculty Luncheon. In both talks I do what I want to do from now on: include poetry. Poetry meets the heart in secret ways.
One sweet girl asks me what I think about making a living as a poet. I wish that were possible. For most poets it is not. Yet I encourage her to make a life of poetry even if she can't make a living.
To my delight, I meet many aspiring poets at Geneva. In the evening the English Club takes me to dinner at the dining hall. We laugh a lot and read some Eastern poets... and Aquinas (who makes us blush with a rather unusual metaphor... but I will let Sarah, Mary, Emma, Laura, Jessica, Josh or Andy tell you about that :).
The next day, the English Club graces me again, with a treat of scones and tea just up the road. My time is almost finished here.
During precious and unusual hours to myself, what shall I do?
I nap, and nap again. I write about the new things I am doing on my art pilgrimage. I take my camera and tiptoe through the inn...
At the window seat I linger, read a small bit of Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within, consider the sunlight on aged wood and think of my dear friend Ann (whose house, for some reason, always has perfect light).
And I decide I want to make a life of poetry, even if I can't make a living. I want to read more poets, push myself harder than I have, try new forms. Sometimes in silence and empty moments we find these strange, full resolutions.
The clock ticks, hands turn, day opens and it is time. I am off to Pittsburgh...
Geneva College and Inn on College Hill photos by L.L. Barkat.