Tag Archives: Ah Haa

Back Again, So Soon?

So.. let’s see. My last two visits to Telluride were from Oct 27 – Nov 10, and then Dec 14&15. And I’m back already — again, for just one night — and I’ll be back again, each of the next four Wednesdays : Feb 8, 15, 22; and March 1st. What gives with seven visits, one of them being for two weeks, within roughly a four-month period?

Well, things have turned out thataway. December’s Talking Gourds was rescheduled for when I could make it, and with a poet I wanted to see, and also on my birthday. Hard not to feel the Universe was in my corner. And this current weekly surge is due to a workshop put on by beloved poet and friend. Since my New Year’s resolution (Ick!) was to bring my writing more to the forefront, this is one of those steps in that direction.

But, then, a question remains: Why do I keep returning here, anyway? Well,… here I go…

The reasons are legion, and I may not even be aware of them all, but to put it succinctly, because coming here is good for me. The beauty, the smallness and quietness, that I’ve become familiar with the place (and also in no small part, familiar to the place and some of its people), and that it’s a place I know where I can escape to are some of the specific reasons I persist in returning. Too, it’s far enough away (four to four and a half hours) that I’m not able to constantly come here (It requires a commitment to come.), yet it’s close enough that it’s not huge burden getting here. As the Little Bear would say, “It’s just right!”

That said, I do love where I live, and am grateful for being able to continue living there. As much as I also love Telluride, whenever I’m here, the very fact that I’m here means I’ve stepped away from day-to-day life — I’ve no commitments, no work schedule, or nearly all the other things that come with a life that keep you from being able to do (pretty much) whatever you want whenever you want. As Gus McCrae tells Lori, in Lonesome Dove, “Even in San Francisco, life is still life.” If I were to move to Telluride, I’d also have to bring all the rest that comes with my life, which I’m currently able to leave at home precisely because Telluride isn’t home.

Anyhoo. As I said, I’ll be returning each of the next four Wednesdays.

And, each Thursday, I’ll be returning home.

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Filed under Changing Perspective, Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer, Inspiration, re: Writing, Sorting It Out

Telluride: Day Three

Yesterday’s big event was a short hike, mile/mile and a half, with Amy Levek, who has lived here 27(?) years. In an earlier life, she was part of the town government, City Planner, I think. My initial contact with her was through a Facebook poetry group. When I last visited Telluride, in July, we had breakfast together at my favorite place for that. She seemingly knows everyone in town, and even seems to be on good terms with everybody, or on speaking terms at least.

Autumn is perhaps my favorite season, what with the leaves turning and the temperature being cooler. There’s an essence to the autumnal air that’s not present during the other seasons. Ours was a slow walk. Amy does photography now, and she’d brought her camera. Repeatedly, both up the trail and back home, Amy would stop and snap a picture or few. More than several times, Amy’s stopping to take a picture caused me to look around and see why I needed to take my own picture.

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Amy is good company. She’s quiet, doesn’t demand the spotlight, and (at least in my case) is good at drawing a person out. She asked what had brought me to Telluride this time, and I told her, even though it was a bit embarrassing to do so. I mean, what fifty year old is still pondering what to do with their life? She didn’t seem thrown off in the slightest by what I said. She almost made me feel normal, due to the lack of change in her demeanor.

Because Amy’s a photographer, and even moreso because of her tenure in Telluride, and all the locals she knows, I told her about the previous night’s Art Walk exhibit at Ah Haa, “Telluride Portraits.” I told her how I’d seen so many stories in that room. Because of the fact that they were, for the most part, portraits that weren’t shot in a studio and weren’t posed, there was an essence present in the photos that wouldn’t otherwise be. Also, the photographers’ telling of how their shots came to be were also riddled with stories. There was just enough told to lay a foundation for a story, but enough left unsaid to allow the viewer, me, to fill in the holes. Also, even though I’m not from Telluride, and didn’t know anyone in any of the photos, I felt an affinity and connection to the photos as if I did know the people in the pictures. My heart was nearly as touched as if the portraits had been of Salida locals.

Again, I perceive the world in stories. I also have a strong empathic sense. These two traits distinguish me, set me apart from my fellows. They are to be heeded, paid attention to.

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Filed under Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer, Sorting It Out

Telluride: Day One

My blogging about my time here feels self-indulgent and -involved, and even kinda icky. Who else would care about this? However, it has happened that when I’ve written stuff I thought no one would give a flip about, it’s turned out to matter to more people than I coulda imagined. Maybe it’ll happen again, here—another post from this series, if not this specific one.

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One practice I have for getting myself sorted out, that I haven’t practiced in ages, is getting outside and walking about. I knew Telluride had loads of trails and open space are pretty much everywhere. Thing is, I didn’t know where any trails were, especially any that an outta shape guy like I could do. So I emailed a friend who’s lived here for over twenty years, and she gave me some ideas. Also, while at the library yesterday, I came across a map of hiking trails, and one of the librarians called the local bookstore, who confirmed they had copies; so I went there and got one.

One such hike was to a waterfall that’s just half a mile from the end of a street. I went there, hung out for awhile, took some pictures that I posted on Facebook. I’ve been looking over my map, considering Rosemerry’s suggestions, and have begun plotting my “getting outside when your insides aren’t working” time.

Last night, I went to Art Walk, visiting a handful of galleries. Again, the simple act of getting out and about was better than staying inside for the hour or so I was walking. Too, Telluride is a different sort of magical, at night.

I can’t recall any insights during either of my walks, to the waterfall or Telluride at night, but ideas for writing have been frequent—which could be proof-positive that I am a writer, that being so is an essential aspect of who I am. However, while at the library, yesterday, I began seeing my behavior during the previous evening’s concert in a different light.

In addition to being a watcher of people, I also delight in seeing people enjoying themselves. Even moreso, I delight in seeing the light come on in their eyes when they see a little more clearly how nifty and special they are. Parking myself on the periphery, watching and taking mental notes, isn’t a bad (dark) thing. Rather, it’s essential to allowing me to see people in their natural state, to witness the uniqueness that sets them apart, that is their gift to share with others. It’s my own uniqueness and gift. (But I still need to be engaged, eventually getting off the sidelines.)

Today’s the start of the second day. It’s time for me to get out and see what it brings.

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Filed under Sorting It Out

Pondering the Last Minute

Mucho months ago I signed up for a six-hour/one-day poetry workshop. A year ago I’d signed up for an earlier version of the same workshop, which had fortysome participants. But this time, it would be more intimate, with far fewer attendants; so I made it a point to sign up early, lest I lose my chance of getting in.

But here’s the thing: The workshop takes place in less than a week, and as of one or two days ago, I was the only one who’d signed up. And in an ironic twist to my feeling that I needed to get in early in order to get a spot, there’s a possible chance not enough people will register in order to make the workshop a “go.” However, the woman who’s conducting the workshop says this sorta thing happens pretty much all the time: folks waiting until after the two-minute warning to commit themselves to attending.

This tendency has me pondering what sorta writing career I wanna pursue. Workshops and conferences and the like are a way to help replenish the coffers in-between writing gigs. And while my finding out a mere week before this current workshop that I was the only one who’d signed up was a bit unsettling, it had to be even moreso for Rosemerry—she has had to put in the time and energy and effort for a workshop that might not take place. And to hear from her that this is somewhat par for the course… Well, grrrr. I’m wanting my vocation to be _less_ stressful than my current paying-job. I tend to do badly and poorly, being held in suspension while waiting for a, Good To Go. There are other writerly avenues that can be followed, but still…

However, workshops and such are also a way to build an audience, to promote yourself as “the real deal,” and to escape the solipsistic vortex of crafting and to engage yourself in the writing community. (And, too, sometimes workshops do have participants, do happen.) And surely, being a writer, I’ve dealt before with ideas not panning out. Yet I keep returning the pages, even without any guarantees. It’s to be expected. It’s par for the course.

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Filed under Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer