Creative Arts and Healing

Dear reader –

It is now the summer of 2011, a very hot summer (as all summers are in Tallahassee) but maybe hotter this year? Seems so. One day in mid June when my old high school classmate was visiting, and I took her down to the gulf beach to swim and loll, a record temp of 105 degrees was recorded in my city. What, I wondered (I have often wondered) did people do in Florida before air conditioning? Before iced coffee? Just sit and sweat? Slow way way down? Pick at their mosquito bites? Complain or turn stoic?

Be that as it may, it IS air conditioned in my home, as I sit talking with you now. And the train whistle blows, whoo-whoo, a melancholy sound. The train is pulling freight; our local station no longer has passenger service to other towns. In fact, our Amtrak office is now a little art theater where we can see films no standard cinema would show.

I am not teaching this summer (though I begin again in the fall – back to the women’s prison and back to Westminster Oaks, (an upscale retirement community), but I am in the midst of compiling my Wheel of Belonging book of faith columns and sermons. Now, having tweaked the galleys twice, I am focusing on the graphics, to stimulate the eye and break up the text. It takes faith to know that summer will end, and that fall will come. It takes faith to believe that this hurricane season will leave the very tall trees, surrounding our home, standing upright. It takes faith that my daughter and her boyfriend will survive a four day rafting trip through a deep river gorge in a wilderness area in Montana. Life itself takes faith, does it not, or maybe just blind obedience to habit and desire.

The breeze picks up, the magnolia branches begin to toss. Is another afternoon thunderstorm at hand? Perhaps pelting rain will dash the grass and garden, ensuring lushness. The two green Adirondack chairs on the hill, no one sitting in them, wait patiently for two friends to walk up there and begin to share confidences.

I reach out to you – friends, strangers – so as to link our journeys, our travels through time, through seasons, through recessions and upswings, through natural disasters and human acts of kindness, through political strife and community concensus, through garden planting and harvesting, old friends reuniting, tactical errors, acts of insight, even genius. I honor this life of events and musings, of history and creation, bird songs, low flying clouds, leaping fish, haiku poetry, gospel choirs, sewing projects, fresh raspberries and homemade bread, and especially I welcome the chance to witness to it all before it passes away.

What does summer hold for you this year? May it be a time of sweet delight and
gentle reckonings with fate. May you sip and savor the cool drink of your choice,
read what pleases you, dance till midnight, and dote on your loved ones. Your
correspondence – via my e-mail – is always welcome, any and all musings, and ah, here come the first droplets now….

Katya, June 27, 2011

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