Tag Archives: Amy Levek

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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Telluride: Day Two

Not too much to report. No epiphanies, no increases in clarity. I did hike about six miles, late in the afternoon. There were few enough other people that I wasn’t bothered, but there were still enough folks that I wasn’t able to hash out things aloud, which works best for me. Still, getting out and about is nearly never a bad thing.

 

The evening before, at one of the Art Walk venues, the main gallery was hanging photos from Telluride Portraits. During a good chunk of yesterday’s walk, I was thinking about those portraits, and why I was so enamored with them, both individually and with the show as a whole. (I had a chance to talk about this, today, with Amy Levek, who’s lived here 27 years. If I remember, I’ll go over what came out of today’s time with Amy, in tomorrow’s blogpost.) The reason I was so drawn to and effected by them has to do with stories. With these being local folks being photographed, and in environs far outside any studio setting, the mind was drawn in, filling in the blanks, crafting stories.

 

Up until this past April, I would have pooh-poohed any notion that my having seen stories waiting to be heard was anything noteworthy. It seemed a natural, normal, expected thing to have happen. Well, it’s because I’m a writer that such a reaction comes so naturally and unbidden to me. It isn’t any sort of a universal response. Rather, it’s a distinguishing one. One that does set me apart.

 

And because I can be incredibly hard-headed, even about the obvious, I took a FB post quiz to find what career I should have, and (big surprise…wait for it…) the result was, Writer.

 

Huh. Maybe there actually was some clarity, after all.

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Being Woven

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On the first morning of this month, I was in Telluride for a workshop led by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. I’ve known of Rosemerry for a good nine or ten years, but it’s only been within the past year I’ve begun getting to know her. One of the results of my having finally reached out to her was my being included in a Facebook poetry group.

I’m not much of an out-reachy sorta person—blame it on my being a powerful introvert. (Which may explain some of why I waited so long before contacting RWT, via a FB Friend request.) Too, I see myself as a teensy fish in the wide expansive pond that is Colorado writers.  (And an even teensier fish, still, when it comes to poetry.) So it was with something of surprise and delight when some members of the FB poetry group sent Friend requests to me. Fortunately, I was wise enough not to turn down such acts of wonderful grace. Two of these poets, Michelle Haynes and Amy Levek, live in Telluride, so while I was in town, I e-contacted each asking if they’d be available to meet. Amy was out of state, but Michelle agreed to meet me at her favorite hangout, and after having just gotten home from working all day(!)

Michelle had recently returned from having met another member of the poetry group, Debbi Kapp Brody, in her hometown of Santa Fe. As these things happen, Debbi had already contacted me, saying she’d be in Salida during the 4th of July weekend, and wanted to meet. Michelle’s words of high regard for Debbi confirmed my suspicions of the woman. And, sure enough, July 6th, I got to join Debbi and her husband, and also two local poets who knew Debbi already: Laurie James and Lynda La Rocca.

Within the same calendar week, I’d gone to a poetry workshop, met and gotten to know two other poets, and spent time with two other poets whom I already knew—three already-known poets, if you count the wisps of time I had with Rosemerry. Writing, as any creative art, can be isolating and insular. Add “powerful” introversion into the mix, and the need to connect with others, especially with those of your tribe, becomes essential. And for me, to be still more fully woven into the tapestry of other local poets made it seem more legitimate and true that I am a poet, never mind a writer also.

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