I go off @ nine every morning, return briefly around 12:15, grab lunch, organize for the afternoon conferences and at 1:25, go out to the gazebo for three conferences. Somewhat after three, I came inside and promptly collapse. Sometimes I lie down. I am beat. I’m really not good for much after the conferences. They’re more draining than the workshop. Woody made supper or brought home take-out Tuesday through Thursday.
Xena is the most upset because she is normally with me for hours each day. She sits beside my computer quietly or on the little table under the window, to my left. Mingus comes in and sits behind the computer. When Xena moves around, she is very careful to step deftly past the computer avoiding the keys. Mingus crosses the keys so I have poems that have lines like Today the sunxxxxxxxxxxxxxx888888888888888.
This is the week of my juried intensive poetry workshop for 2018. The twelve poets have visibly improved during the week and are turning out some excellent poems on their class assignments. This group doesn’t seem to be hanging out together as much as previous years sometimes have. Several poets from eight years ago are still in regular touch. Every year is different. This group is more serious than last year’s was.
The weather has been cool, the evenings downright chilly this week. That’s unusual. Basically we’re in a drought which means sunny or partly sunny days for my poets and for all the tourists and summer people. It means for us watering the gardens all the time and worrying about the well and the pump. It’s cool because we had a very late spring; spring is probably late because climate change is weakening the Gulf Stream.
Thursday evening we had the public reading at the library in the big room. I think it was the best class reading so far. Other people said that to me. Some of the strongest poems were written during the workshop. Then Friday evening we had the class party that ends the workshop. In the previous seven years, it was always outside on our land. But it rained during the afternoon so everything was damp and it turned chilly again, so we held the party inside, which was fine. Lots of food and drink of all kinds and my friend Martha who had three of the poets in one of her cabins made FOUR kinds of cookies and Dale my Monday assistant and friend, made a cheesecake of a kind I’d never had before with blueberries in it that vanished so quickly I woulnd’t have gotten to piece if Dale hadn’t brought it upstairs to me. I think it was a wonderful party. This group was a particularly good one, arrived punctually to everything, did all the assignments and did them splendidly, were responsive, serious but fun.
Today I have to tackle the huge pile of everything I wore during the week, toss stuff into the hamper to be washed, hang other clothes back up and stow other items in drawers. I had no time to do that during the week. Then I have to try to get my body back as I did not exercise or walk or much of anything besides the workshop all week.The cats are out of sorts from neglect, so they have to get a lot of attention. Before writing this, I just answered or erased over 450 emails. Catching up. When Dale comes in on Monday, we have to sort the pile in the downstairs office of all the lectures, examples, assignments of the week. Then we can get back to the work piling up during the workshop. Above all, I want to get back into the garden. I haven’t even looked at any of the gardens all week. I only know my late peonies are blooming because Woody picks some and brings them in for the dinner table.
I didn’t cook supper all week. When I finished the last class yesterday, my chosen daughter Melenie and I cooked for the party. With her, it was great fun and together we’re so efficient that we got everything done an hour before the party and could relax a bit and talk seriously. She was an enormous help during and afterwards, helping us clean up when both Woody and I were ready to keel over and sleep.
The workshop date has been creeping earlier and earlier for the past few years, so I’m going to kick it forward a week in 2019 and start the creep all over again. Maybe it’ll be warmer next year.