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November 9, 2007

artist's way guided intent (november)

by gl. at 10:29 pm

on wednesday night we gathered four strands of possibility in our fingers and wove them together to create poetry. using divination tricks like coins, cards, cookies and cups of darjeeling tea, we poured our hopes and hearts onto the page. this month charles won a new journal to continue writing (and everyone went home with an exotic coin or fortune in their pocket!).

["appreciate the good will of others;" click to see the other prompts]

essentially, we spent the evening writing based on these tangible prompts. at the end, we wrote a poem based on one of the writings we did. we only shared the final poem, not any of the writings.

the first type of possibility is binary: yes or no, heads or tails. so i passed around a little bowl of various foreign coins and we asked a question with a yes or no answer. mine was "will i live to be 100?" and the answer was tails: no. so i wrote about asking the wrong question, because maybe i'll live to be 101, or 1001. 100 is like 2 more lifetimes from now for me, and it's hard to imagine even 10 years in the future. i should have asked "will i have a long, happy life?" -- but what if the answer to -that- was no?

then we picked a tarot card, and i was amazed that i picked "the star," the card i coveted so dearly when sven picked it last time. i love the star! unexpectedly, i started writing about harvesting stars like a fisherman, casting my net into the roaring dark. (i had a physics professor tell me once that if space wasn't a vaccum, we'd hear the roar of the sun all day and the chatter of stars at night). the sound of atoms in the dark, chattering waves of ions & photons riding gravity through space, creating tides & eddies. galaxies like mammoth whales slowly floating across the universe, eating starlight & breathing stardust. i hit a little bump when i wrote: "but where do the stars go after that? we harvest to eat, we harvest to consume, we harvest them for dresses that sparkle, coats so soft and flowing they make people cry as you walk by." the vision of a stardust coat was appealing, but harvesting & killing stars to do it makes me shudder. i don't know if star farms would be a very valid option, either, though stars glowing in barns would be sort of sweet.

this year i actually bought fortune cookies to use instead of using the little bag of fortunes i'm saving for an undetermined art project. cracking open a fortune cookie in an irreplacable kinesthetic experience. my fortune read "appreciate the good will of others." and i do! while writing, as i so often do, i compared it to a scientific principle, in this case e=mc2: an equal exchange of matter & energy. the more goodwill i have for others, the more i will receive in return.

finally, everyone picked a tea cup from the center of the table and i passed around a bowl of loose darjeeling tea. we poured ourselves just enough tea to dip the fortune cookie into and slowly sipped until the pattern was revealed. mine looked like land & sky, with stars or birds hovering in the air. i couldn't decide which they were, which lent itself well to the final part of the night, picking one of the writings to use as the basis of a poem:

the quantum mechanic takes tea

wet and moist with possibility
the tea leaves swell & swarm
leaving land on one side
sky on the other.
there is no tempest in this teapot
only monet or van gogh
each leaf a dab of paint
from an impressionist's paintbrush.

up close, the story is unclear:
swifts chasing a hawk
or stars gently glowing
above a fragrant field?
like a double exposure
each is true but when i choose one
the other will cease to exist.


the next event is collage night, which is already full, but the next guided intent is one of my favorites: blind painting! and then i'll team up with bridget to teach a wordwear workshop: the strong silent type. whee!

posted by gl. | November 9, 2007 10:29 PM | categories: artist's way, writing