Arts

The Arts section of Orient Lodge

#NaPoWriMo 4: The China Tea Cup

The precious china tea cup
sits in the rarefied air
of the glassed in display case.
It’s intricate patterns,
too complicated to comprehend,
helps hide
the imperfections
from all but the most astute
observer.

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#NaPoWriMo 3: April Snow

One moment
it’s a white out;
the wind is howling,
no visibility,
and the next;
the sun is shining,
illuminating
thick heavy snow
clinging to trees
and weighing down
daffodils.

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Road Poem 1

I’ve got another hour and a half on the road
and I’m looking for a poem
in the grey branches
beside the interstate
and the women
putting on their make up
as they drive
or the old men
drinking their coffee and smoking cigarettes
as they head off
to the same old job.

I’ve got another hour and a half on the road
and I’m looking for a poem
as I see a young mother
shouting over her shoulder
at her kids
to settle down
as she drives past
the twisted metal
that was once part
of a car.

I’ve got another hour and a half on the road
and I’m looking for a poem
as I see the remains of an old barn
with a for sale sign
that must have been part of a farm
before the interstate came through
and a man in a van
talking on his cellphone
passes
with a license plate
that reads Zone Five
like he’s driving out of a bad
cyberpunk novel.

The GPS tells me
“In a quarter mile keep left to stay on I-91 North”
and when I arrive, what will I have?

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The Incomplete Garden

I sit
in the same chair
to write
each day.

Up,
to my left,
is a large window
I gaze out of
looking for inspiration.

It is dark
when I start.

As the day breaks
forms appear
out of the darkness.

The old swingset
my daughter used to play on;
starting to deteriorate
now that she’s gone.

The house across the street
where the Rabbi and his family lives,
with cars coming and going
full of mysterious stories
to be remembered and retold.

As the morning light grows
the incomplete garden
comes into focus;
the struggling lilac bush
from my late mother’s house,
the pile of rocks
with the yellow jacket’s nest
I once disturbed,
the bird feeder
left behind
by the previous owners,
and random plants
waiting
to be organized
into beauty.

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Rest, and Upcoming Events

I was hoping that the week after Easter would provide opportunities to rest and catch up a little. There are so many blog ideas in the back of my mind that I need to write, and so many upcoming events. Yet I’ve ended up with four meetings after work this week, some events I couldn’t make because of double booking, and Saturday I’m heading off to another event, while missing a second. As an aside, the weekend before Holy Week, I missed several events because of double or triple booking as well as because of my kidney stone.

On Saturday, I should be at a poetry group in the morning. Right now, I should be working on a poem for that group. Unfortunately, I’ll miss it, as well as their next big event. Instead, I’ll be going to Podcamp Western Mass. This is one of the longest continuously running Podcamps, and I think I’ve been to everyone, but I can’t remember for sure.

Podcamps are ‘unconferences’ originally around podcasting. These days, they tend to focus on all aspects of social media. As an unconference, there is no clear set agenda. People bring their ideas, their topics, then on a large grid on a wall they select rooms and times to get together to talk about the topics they are interested in. It is a great way for people to become more acquainted with social media, and there are often topics like Twitter 101. There are also topics that can get fairly esoteric. I try to go partly to learn new things and partly to give back to the community. I never know who will be there or what topics will catch my attention. Currently, I’m thinking about communities online as they related to learning, creativity, spirituality, and politics. I’d love to hear some of your thoughts about topics you’d be interested in at an unconference.

Then, in two weeks are two different conferences on my radar. One is the#WhatIMake conference. I’ve written a little bit about this earlier, and if I had more time I would dig out some quotes from Elizabeth Gilbert’s interview with Brene Brown which I mentioned yesterday, which are one of the best explanations about why #WhatIMake is such an important conference to go to.

Unfortunately there is another conference which is also very important to me taking place at the same time. Misisonal Voices is taking place at Virginia Theological Seminary.

A conversation about innovative ministries and missional communities in The Episcopal Church.

In my mind, this conference has a lot in common with Podcamp and WhatIMake, which very direct implications for the next few twists and turns on my spiritual journey. I am hoping it will be about creativity and innovation; about being a maker. I am hoping that I will arrive, not knowing what I will get out of it, and leaving surprised with new thoughts and ideas.

I’m thinking of listening to Podcasts on creativity on my drive down. I’ve been listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcasts during my commute this week. I’m considering staying at a hostel on my journey back, for several reasons.

But now, I’ve already spent more time than I really have writing this blog post and I need to get on with the rest of the day.

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