Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tiptoe Thru the Inn and Geneva

College Inn

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.

The Inn on College Hill Sign

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.

Geneva College Building

Geneva College Bell

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.

Sitting Room

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...

Living Room

Window Seat

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.

Grandfather Clock

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.

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Blogger Jessica said...

My dad's alma mater. And my old stomping grounds. My parents still live right outside of Pittsburgh, PA. Beautiful pics.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Robin Arnold said...

You fill my heart up with images and hopes.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good stuff

6:07 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Overby said...

Room to room, light to light, thought to thought, poem by poem - I follow.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Missy K said...

So lovely-- and challenging-- and good-- I have been feeling that urge to push myself lately too-- finding my writing grown comfortable and knowing that is not always a good thing. . .
thank you for sharing your visit.

6:30 PM  
Blogger SimplyDarlene said...

What beauty...from wood and light to bricks and snow to words and heart beats.

Are the "empty moments" you speak of really void of everything or are they simply moments in which our souls speak up clearly because the noise is muted? Either way, your poetic resolution is sure to bless.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Corinne Cunningham said...

This was beautiful. The photos, the words. The thought of a quiet place for a nap!
What a beautiful experience for the soul.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

What a lovely place L.L. The pictures are beautiful - I could just imagine what it would be like to curl up with a book in a cozy corner there.
You are having a wonderful adventure. It must be a joy to spend time with people who share your passion.
Thank you for sharing this time.

9:07 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

So gently beautiful.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Very good. Lovely pics. I like the old setting. Yes, poems. I lost the one I lost with my old blog, and remember one I did in probably the fourth grade (with some help from my mother). I did provide more "details" on my new posting this morning. Stay warm. (we all look forward to Spring!)

5:47 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

can I just say thank you.
this was wonderful, and wonderfully you.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I have been wondering...

And now, I just feel breathless from all the beauty.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

Gorgeous campus.
Keep warm in those places and those thoughts and before Jesus.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Ann Kroeker said...

I feel like I was tip-toeing around the Inn with you.

And this sounds decisive:

"And I decide I want to make a life of poetry."

I thought you already had!

What a gift to the world your words have been and will be, L.L.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RAP - pages of white

2:35 PM  
Blogger Chelsea said...

I felt like I was there with you. I know what you mean about making a life out of poetry...or just writing in general. I've been told many times it can't be done, but conversely, many times, that it can. I read this blog sometimes and thought you might find it interesting. They have great poetry. (You've probably heard of it, but thought I'd put it out there anyway...)


10:51 PM  

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