This past week has been a wonder. On Wednesday, I helped to set-up for Fine Arts Day at my daughter's school. Afterwards, I attended a Literary Guild function and went to hear Mary Gordon speak. I enjoyed her talk which was full of humor. I tried to take something from it that would prop me up for the coming days when I would be the one speaking.
Thursday, after a year of planning, Fine Arts Day finally arrived. The day went smoothly--as far as the logistics were concerned. After watching the assembly featuring the Middle School group of African Drummers and dancers, of which my son is a member, I gave 6 presentations about my painting to approximately 500 students. They were well-behaved, attentive, and hopeful. "I want to be an artist when I grow up!" I would ask, "Aren't you already an artist?"
From joyful enthusiasm to skepticism in one day. On Friday, I sat before a grave panel of assorted artists (dancer, musician, writer, etc.) to discuss my proposal to be included in a roster of Artists' Residencies, which are 10-day programs in the schools. I think I was able to articulate my program, but it took some doing. My written proposal confused the panel, and I felt I wasn't communicating well. That my idea for a presentation centered on using creative journal writing as a forum for problem solving, didn't speak well to its merits that they didn't understand my processes, but I think that by the end of the session, the assemblage was more responsive to my ideas. Leaving the group, I felt that it could go either way. Perhaps I would have been a little more optimistic, but I locked my keys with my cell phone in my car.
Today, I was a presenter/panelist at the first Lancaster Book Festival put on by the Lancaster Literary Association. The reading/talk that I gave in the morning was well-received. I felt good about it. The event itself was a great time to network with some admittedly world-weary writers, but it also had its uplifting moments. We wore our name tags a little like one would wear hospital bracelets. Writing being an operation we needed to survive, God willing. People were reverent of our undertakings and asked thoughtful questions. Tomorrow, I have a book signing with many of the authors who were at the event.
Each of these happenings occurring separately would be fuel for me, but the fact that they were so concentrated into such a short space of time, left me feeling a little raw. Can I really imagine doing a book tour? My brain seems on overload. Ideas are flashing around my head. I have business cards of people to contact, thank you notes to write, feelings to sort, inspiration to act upon. I crave retreat. Upon returning home today, I went for a run. A steak dinner on my deck is definitely on the agenda for tonight.
Maybe in a few days, I will be able to better articulate some of the feelings that have surfaced from my week. But right now I must go have a glass of wine with my very supportive and patient husband. I can't say that he personifies these qualities as a rule, but he understood the challenge of my schedule (compounded by the kids' agendas) this week, and rose to the occasion. Even travelling 60 miles round trip to unlock my car door--without wisecrack or commentary. For his this grand gesture alone, I am most grateful.