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Monday, July 1, 2013

Sit... and... Stay. (Sigh!)

Morning sun behind young catalpa
Laundry, garden
That's what I told myself this morning when I went out into the backyard with Sarah. Did not even take a book with me. Camera, binoculars, coffee. Just sat by the garden enjoying the light breeze, listening to birdsong, watching birds flit and swoop from tree to tree. There is a big, beautiful yellow-orange pumpkin blossom, and red strawberries peeked at me from under their cool, green leaves. Basswood, a late-blooming linden, will flower soon, and the trees will hum with bees. The sight of a few shirts hanging on the line pleases me inordinately.

Visiting writer Mark Yakich
It was an event-packed and colorful weekend, with a Louisiana poet visiting the bookstore, two gallery openings, and a beautiful wedding on Saturday afternoon (for which I closed two hours early). I asked the poet, Mark Yakich, what advice he most often gives his writing students, and his answer was that poems don't always have to be first-person compositions. As a reader, we often err if we equate the voice of the poem with the poet, and as writers we limit ourselves unnecessarily if everything we write is self-expression. Yakich reminded the bookstore audience that Plato hated poets because they were liars, while Aristotle lauded poetry for the same reason. "Try on masks!" was Friday's poet's advice. "Be an actor. Take on a role." Very freeing, don't you think? And how much richer contemporary literature would be if more writers let themselves be this creative!

Poet as himself, with real-life family
Edie Joppich had her gallery party the night before. This is the 33rd year of her Bay Street Gallery, which features work by Edie and by others and has new and different work every year. Congratulations, Edie!

Joppich's Bay Street Gallery is 33 years old!
Friday evening was the "Only Show" of summer at the Wright Gallery. As always, it was a stunner. The gallery will be open throughout the summer, with work by its various artists changing from time to time, so one visit won't be enough to see it all -- not even Friday evening's lovely opening.

Now June is over. That's the mere fact; my feeling is more like June is over already!!! The calendar reminds me to slow down and not only smell the roses but also listen to the birds and let my eye be soothed by the grasses.



Kathy in Oz said...

Pamela, I am now into my third year of being dazzled by the colours of summer in Michigan. As my garden pales yours brightens. Thank you for this lovely post. xn

P. J. Grath said...

Kathy, my laundry is much more colorful than my vegetable garden so far, but I'm glad you liked the pictures. Bookstore and galleries are full of color. My little front garden, too, but I didn't have any photos of it in this post. Isn't it great how long we have been corresponding?!

Anonymous said...

Hi P.J. I've seen your comments on Kathy's blog, Lake Superior Spirit, and also on Gerry Sell's blog, which is what brings me here. Gerry's international blogging buddies have reached out to me wondering if Gerry is okay. I moved to Michigan just three years ago, and don't actually know Gerry, but it seemed like you two had a "real" relationship. Hope she (and you!) are well.

P. J. Grath said...

Hi, Rapid City Heather. Gerry e-mailed friends a few weeks back with good news, and I thought she would be blogging again soon. Your question makes me think I should give her a phone call.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for getting back to me :) I'll pass word along!

Dawn said...

I've been worried too. Hope she is fine!

Love these photos...saw that zig zag in the meadow and was pleased to see a closeup of it. Love the floral arrangement photo with the art mirroring it. Or the other way around. And love this last's a painting itself.