Tag Archives: Telluride

Back Again

A wee bit more than a month ago, Nov 10th, I headed home after two weeks in Telluride. At the time, I figured it’d be at least until February or March before my next visit. Wound up not taking that long.

A week and a half ago, I got word that the December monthly meeting of Telluride’s Talking Gourds poetry club, had been moved from the 6th to the 14th. Since I have Wednesdays and Thursdays off from work, I would be able to attend. Further, the guest poet was going to be, Elissa Dickson, who is currently the San Miguel County Poet Laureate and also someone whom I wanted to hear read their poetry. Finally, Dec 14th is my birthday. All these plusses converging, what other choice did I have, but attend?

When I arrived at the venue, last night, it was packed. The only time I’d seen as many folks attend a Talking Gourds was the night Jewel (the singer/songwriter) was one of the guest poets. Last night’s draw was Elissa. She works at the library, is outgoing, and has lived in Telluride for a number of years. Her friends, peeps, loved ones, and other supporters had filled the room.

Speaking for myself, I scarcely know Elissa; I’ve seen her a few times at previous Talking Gourds, and have heard a few of her performance and written poems. Even so with such seemingly little to go on regarding Elissa, my regard for her, and my appreciation and respect of her talents, was enough to cause me to come for the night in Telluride: (Four-and-a-half hour drive, each way; three mountain passes, also each way; not to mention the cost of gas and a hotel room, and the sorta “loss” of my two days off from work.) There are very few others I’d willingly do this for. So, if  I, “scarcely” knowing her as I do, immediately decided to come to Telluride in order to hear her, is it any wonder she packed the house with those who know her far better?

Of course, and to be sure, once I’m here, spending time in Telluride isn’t any burden. I’ve lost count of my overnight(s) visits over the past three or four years, but I’m pretty sure it’s in at least the upper teens. As always, I stayed at Mountainside Inn, and stopped by the local Indie bookstore, Between the Covers, (two times, this time), to buy needed books and the like. Also, I got to touch base with some of own Telluridian “friends, peeps, loved ones, and other supporters.”

Even though I’ll have to be at work by 4AM, tomorrow, “what other choice did I have,” but to come? (Place your bets now, on whether I’ll be able to wait until next year’s Lit Fest, in May, to return.)

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

LitFest

Three years ago, Telluride presented its first Literary Arts Festival (“LitFest”), and I wanted to go, but I had very recently spent time there, and couldn’t afford another visit, so soon. Last year, I decided, instead, to visit my mom on Mothers Day, which I likely might have done this year, had Mom not passed away, earlier this year. So this go-around, I booked my hotel early, and began dreaming and waiting.

Of course, reality wasn’t much like any of my dreams; but its quality was at least as high as my dreams’. I met one author and one poet, each of whom I only knew by name and photos. And, I got to see nearly all the Telluridians I already knew.

One of the most popular events of LitFest, is its Literary Burlesque, which is both a metaphoric and literal disrobing of its featured poetesses. I wish I could show pictures from it, due to the costuming and such, but alas and go figure, pictures were not allowed. This was also the only event that you had to pay for. It also had sold-out, the previous two years. Thanks to my knowing one of the co-owners of the bookstore where tickets were being sold, I was able to call and get one, while they were still available.

As these thing often happen with writing type festivals and such, I didn’t get much writing done. Well, it’s not the festival that’s to blame—it’s my addiction to YouTube videos. (I’m seriously wondering whether getting wi-fi for my apartment is a good idea.) However, I’m leaving feeling more solid and grounded in being a writer; more thoroughly a member of the tribe.

Meanwhile, back in Salida, Wednesday is to be the last day for our current kitchen manager and dietician. I’ve struggled mightily giving my writing precedence over my paying job. With the upcoming change of management, it seems a good time to make such a change. However, that’s entirely another sack of worms for perhaps another time.

In a few hours, give or take, I’ll get in the van and head back home. My next scheduled visit, here, won’t be until late October, an entire summer and two-thirds of an autumn away. Maybe I’ll squeeze in at least one visit before then. We’ll see. It’s hard to stay away too long from views like these.

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Filed under Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Eight Days of Telluride

I’ve check out of my hotel room, packed everything into the van. After eight full days, it’s come time to leave Telluride and return back home to Salida, and all that goes with that. I’m not wanting to leave. It hasn’t seemed like eight full days. So what else is new?

Downtown Telluride, last Thursday afternoon, Oct 8th.

Downtown Telluride, last Thursday afternoon, Oct 8th.

And what else is also new in that I didn’t get accomplished pretty much any of the plans I’d made? But perhaps what I needed, more than anything I had planned, was simply to rest. As it turned out, I spent three of my days lying in-bed, watching X Factor and America’s/Britain’s Got Talent videos on my laptop; and on one of those days, I never left the hotel room at all—no shopping, no eating out, no anything.

One of the things I came here for was to take one of my periodic looks at my current life, and see what needs changing, and how I can go about effecting such change. I didn’t get, perhaps, as much of that done as I’d wished, but I did gain some significant ground in that direction. However, come 5AM, tomorrow, I’ll be back at work, back at the grind. What seems doable while you’re away from work, away from the usual tugs and obligations of your everyday life can suddenly seem ridiculous once you’ve returned to regular life.

But the time I spend in Telluride has a way of staying with me. And I did get a few decent walks done, two of them with an incredible woman that I’ve been graciously blest to have in my life. She and I seem incapable of having superficial conversations. Our talks always hit immediately into the essential core of what’s going one with one another. These, too, linger with me for weeks, months, years afterward.

Go figure, I’m already planning and scheming my return.

The labyrinth at Christ Presbyterian Church.

The labyrinth at Christ Presbyterian Church.

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Filed under Changing Perspective, Sorting It Out

Re: Leaving

For anybody’s who’s followed this blog, or who has spent much time around me, it’s no secret I’ve fallen for Telluride, and have seriously considered moving there. Within the past couple of years, I’ve gone there no fewer than seven or eight times, spending at least one night on all but one of the those visits. To be sure, the beauty of the place is one of its attractions. And because all my visits there have been directly connected to writing, it’s pretty much impossible for me to disconnect Telluride from being crucial to my writing. Even all of the locals I’ve met and have gotten to know are themselves connect to writing in some way.

Telluride's main drag. THAT sorta beauty.

Telluride’s main drag. THAT sorta beauty.

But, Salida has its beauty, as well.

But, Salida has its beauty, as well.

Meanwhile, here in Salida, even after living here for twelve years, I’m so far from where I wish my writing to be. So far even from where I expected it to have developed after just three or four years. Further, in a lotta ways, I’ve kinda stopped living here. Instead, I’m merely going through the motions. I don’t feel the connection to this town like I once did. Don’t feel a part of it, don’t feel much like one of the locals. This is all my own doing. Or, rather, my own lack of doing.  My life has become centered on the job at the hospital. I’m either there, working, or hunkered at home recovering from, resting up for, it. If I’m feeling apart from this town, it’s because I’m not taking any part in it.

I spent most of yesterday at a local coffeeshop. I knew a good number of the other customers and all of the employees by name. More than that, I knew each of them well enough to have engaged in a conversation, asking about their family, latest projects at work, the trips they’ve recently gotten back from. Also, while there, I saw the editor of the local monthly magazine, who gave me my first assignment of the year. In the previous paragraph, I said I, “Don’t feel a part of [Salida], don’t feel much like one of the locals.” Well, yesterday’s time at the coffeeshop belies that stated feeling. Chalk it up to selling short the effects of my having stayed here for twelve years. (Not that I’ve any tendencies whatsoever to discount the value of who I am, what I do.) I’ve accomplished more, here, than I typically give myself credit for.

I would love to be living in Telluride. But If I moved there, I’d lose so much of the good, here. Very likely, I wouldn’t even realized what I’d be losing until after I’d lost it.

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Filed under Changing Perspective, Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer, No [One] Is An Island

How Good Are You?

So, once again, I ran off to Telluride for a couple of days. And, once again, I was there for Talking Gourds, their monthly poetry gathering/reading. And, yup, once again, I was very glad to have gone, and I had a difficult time leaving.

One big difference, this go-around, was getting to spend some time with Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, without there being some writerly thing bringing us together. We met at my favorite place in Telluride to have breakfast, and spent a good and solid hour and a half, discussing all sorts of things. For all the times we’ve otherwise met and crossed paths, this was the first time we’ve been able to spend more than a mere handful of minutes talking and being together.

Pretty much the full brunt of what got talked about revolved around poetry and writing. It’s one of the strongest things we have in common, so it was the easiest subject to discuss. Also, I got the ball rolling in that particular direction by asking Rosemerry a question, pretty quickly after she and I had gotten settled in.

“How does one determine the caliber of their writing?” I admit, this is yet another version of my wondering, asking, whether my writing matters. Well, it didn’t take very long at all for this question to be dissipated, kinda tossed aside, and moved beyond to other things. But, still, it was never truly abandoned. We flitted and flirted around it for the rest of our time together.

In a real and true sense, this question “doesn’t belong.” Writing is not a competition. You’re not going up against other writers, trying to surpass them. Each time you write, you’re to be as present as possible, remaining both aware and open as much as you’re able. All the while, as with every other aspect of your life, you’re to be fully and cleanly yourself. Crafting to the best of your abilities is the only caliber that matters. Where your writing stands in comparison to that of others’ is none of your concern. Also, to once again quote Michelle Kodis, “Comparison is the root of all unhappiness.”

So… how does one determine the caliber of their writing? By whether you’ve written (at least) to the full extent of your capabilities. And, once again, you’re not going up against any other writer/poet/essayist. Writing, all art in fact, isn’t a competition. Rather, if it’s anything, it’s a collaboration.

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

Outta Dodge

About a week ago, I saw how work was getting to me, so I planned an overnight visit to Telluride. Back when I booked my room, the weather was fine, but this is Colorado. On the two days leading up to yesterday’s arrival, Telluride got dumped on, and was even under a winter storm warning, halfway through the evening before I got here. However, because this is Colorado, the skies cleared, and I arrived in glaring sunlight. Kinda makes me think this trip was meant to be.

Just another typical Telluride street.

Just another typical Telluride street.

Once I’d solidified my plans to come, I contacted Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, to see if she’d be able to help me with my poeming. She’s currently busy, even for her, yet she made time. So much resulted from our session, so much she had to say and suggest, I wish I’d been able to somehow record the session. So much is likely lost because I didn’t write it immediately down after we parted. (But then, that’s how life goes: We’re never able to get it all; we just do our best, continually carrying on with what we have.)

I’ve never spent just a single night In Telluride. It seems odd to be turning around today, already, to head back home. And I arrived here with no plan, no agenda (other than my meeting w/Rosemerry). I simply needed and wanted some time away, to get outta Dodge, to regain another perspective. To finally catch the breath that kept escaping me.

And by all systems of my measure, it does seem to have been such a getting my feet back under me, of having gotten back into better synch with the world. But, this has been me visiting Telluride; so, of course, there’s been more. No small part of what’s taken place has touched on personal issues which tie into the recalibration mentioned previously. But it seems this trip is being about strengthening my writing. About showing me how it’s fecundly threaded throughout my life. Showing me other ways to access it, other ways to bring it to bear. Then, all this also ties back to, “[getting] into better synch with the world.”

So, I reckon this overnight in Telluride has been about transitioning from sinking to synching.

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Filed under Changing Perspective, Honoring Your Writing and Your Being a Writer, re: Writing

Something Different

So, it’s been over a month since I returned home from my tenure in Telluride. (I spent seven full days there, specifically to reassess and sort out my life, and even more specifically, my writing life.) I noticed today that I’m back to doing pretty much what I was doing before I left. My writing hasn’t improved because I’m still doing the same old same old.

I’m still squeezing my writing in where I can find a space for it, rather than making it moreso the center of my universe. Often, I finally come to it only after getting home from work, or from having done my running around. It’s something I get to when I have the time. When I can fit it into my day, having gotten the important stuff done.

Folks who saw my Telluride pictures posted on Facebook, and who read my blogposts for that week, are right in thinking I had a good time. But, (and especially if they only saw the pictures), they’re missing how my time there was more centered around my writing than my having fun.

Here’s one example. I missed the Blood Moon, because I was inside my hotel room, writing. I knew it was happening, wanted to see it, had even woke in time to do so, but I never even stepped outside to have a gander. Rather, I stayed with my writing.

But, meanwhile now, back here on the ranch, I’ve not been putting off doing wanted things, in order to stay at the desk writing.

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Those of you who have followed this blog for awhile know one of the things that troubles me is the lateness of my age in getting started with writing, compared with that of my contemporaries. Yesterday, when I mentioned to a local I’d not seen in a year or so that I was weary of my hospital job, and was wishing I could find something other and better, she encouraged me with, “You’re still young.” Now, she may not realized my actual age, but what she said does hold a good bit of truth. I do still have time. I am not out of contention. Not yet. Not by a long shot.

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