Saturday, October 28, 2006

Well, I'm back from VCCA. After a couple of days in the hubbub of the real world, my time there already feels like a dream. It was such a fruitful time--what a pleasure to wallow in words for over a week, to have nothing to do but write and eat and sleep and commune with nature and creative people. I hope I'll find a way to maintain the momentum I developed there--I really reconnected with my novel, which I'm very grateful for (I think part of the trick will be to continue to limit my internet access--it's amazing how much time I fritter away online). I will try to share more details soon, but for now here's a poem I wrote my last full day there:

An ode to VCCA

On the cow-flanked road
between bed and desk, a patch
of asphalt has fallen away,
exposing large chunks of quartz
beneath, as if the road itself
is a geode, broken open
into radiance. We all break open
here—"I had a break through today,"
I hear again and again, from writer,
from artist, from composer, each of us
cracking through the stone skin
of our lives to find hidden minerals
that startle us with their color, their ability
to catch the light. One day, I opened
my studio door to find the room full
of ladybugs, walls seething with them,
air alive with specks of red, and I knew
my own heart had burst open there,
coating every surface with its jagged,
winged, hum.


Donna said...

Hi Gail, glad to hear you feel so rejuvenated from your trip! I go to Borders every morning to write for a couple of hours. Why? Because they have no free wi-fi! That sounds backwards, but I really need to get away from the email and the web for a few hours every day to write. After I come back home I do my business tasks and mercenary work. I love giving my personal creative work first priority in my day!

Andi said...

Oh, Gayle! I am glad you're back, and I love that poem. Just beautiful. Can't wait to catch up with you!

Ericka said...

Yes, it's magical there, isn't it? My times at VCCA have been so breakthrough too -- but the ladybugs. The ladybugs! How magical! And I'm so glad you wrote a cow poem. Somebody should compile the VCCA cow poems...

gayle said...

Thanks so much, Donna and Andi and Ericka! :)

Donna, writing at Borders is a great idea! I think my plan is to take out my wireless card while I'm working and then put it back in as a reward. I haven't tried it yet, but if I keep catching myself popping online like this, I will soon.

And Ericka, yes, what a magical place. The ladybugs made it all the more so! I agree that someone should compile all the cow poems--it would make for a great collection. I loved what you wrote about cows and your time at VCCA for their newsletter--it was fun to see your lovely face while I was there, if only on paper!