Bounty: Southern VT

Bounty: Southern VT


I wanted to share some of the nourishing fall programs & events happening in our area of Southern Vermont (and online.)

First, my longtime friend/artist/mystic Jess Weitz is offering two online programs: Inner Landscapes: exploring our psyche through the landscape and Archetypal Doll Making, the latter also in person at the River Gallery School where Jess leads Art & Meditation classes as well as daylong retreats.

Secondly, in addition to her weekly WORD CAFÉ gatherings in downtown Brattleboro, my gentle, soulful & talented neighbor Robin Marie MacArthur is offering a 6-week Fall Writing Workshop for poets, fiction & non-fiction writers which she describes as (and to which I can attest) “supportive, encouraging and semi-formal.” www.wordhousebrattleboro.com

Lastly, our esteemed teacher & dear family friend Scott Willis is offering his Hits The Spot Yoga Teacher Training/Immersion Program in 2019-20 which was for me (in 2012), a touchstone during a time of radical personal change & opportunity. Scott’s mastery, style, humor & compassion continue to inspire my personal practice & teaching.

We are so fortunate to have the depth & breadth of artistry, creativity & service in our area. When you enroll online or in-person for an ongoing class (or travel for a single-day event), it’s a win-win-win. You support an artist/teacher, they, in turn, support you, while the work that is shaped–on the mat, on the page, on the canvass–nourishes consciousness, connection & community.

Yours in abundance & gratitude,

Kelly

Links:

Jess Weitz, River Gallery Art School
Robin MacArthur, Wordhouse
Scott Willis, Hits the Spot Yoga

and on the coast in Maine, former Vermont neighbor/author/friend:

Jodi Paloni, Maine Coast Writers Retreats
…Sweater-weather writing workshop, (leaning) into moments of nature, exploring the narrative of place, how outer landscape can mirror the inner landscape of our narrators, how setting can be leveraged to evoke an atmospheric tone in our poems and prose. We’ll write about the beauty we see before us and the grief we experience when we remember what’s at stake for our beloved planet. We’ll walk the magical coastal trails for peace of mind, healing ritual, and creative self-care. A hearty harvest menu will shore us for our forays.”

 

 

A People, Divided

A People, Divided

Small Talk

My husband explains to me, again, how small talk is emp/f/phatic communion (I always get the word wrong.) So every few weeks, especially if I’ve had caffeine, I give it a try, and just the other morning, the cashier at the Co-op played along.

“We brought the ice packs because it’s so warm out,” I joked, as she rang up our groceries.

“I know,” she said, “It was really cold at our house this morning.”

“39, at ours,” I added, and then we both spoke at once, so “communed” had we become, with the same beginning sound too, except that what came after her “B,” was: BEAUTIFUL; and what came after mine: BRUTAL.

~


Stranger Angel

Waking to 39 degrees and not being among those who celebrate such disregard for gardens (and summer souls), I meditate on this guy, who was waiting for someone at the farmers market on Saturday morning, leaning shyly, I thought, against the compost with his bouquet, while l just as shyly asked if I could photograph him before escaping the crowds.

~

Procession

I’m not much of a boater, but seeing them on the road in August is like seeing a hearse drive through town, carrying summer.

~

Surrender

45 after 44 has been so excruciating that I can barely think about 44. But for this, I’ll make an exception:

His & Michelle’s summer playlist:

~

Warming Again

Goldfinches in the cherry tree
Last light on the birches
Bread salad with basil & heirloom tomatoes on the table

~

Tomato Legacy

My mother, my grandmothers, my great grandmother…

~

39

About this time of year, the chaff is separated from the wheat, and those who delight in the sudden plummet of heat, without regard for the life of tomatoes and basil, are thus made apparent; just as 45 made apparent so many things, which is what I thinking as I biked up to the farmstand for Sunday morning scones, shivering; And while my disdain for their disloyalty to summer may not be as strong as my disdain, say, for those who (still) champion 45, they had that very morning, chilled and cloud covered as it was, come alarmingly close, particularly with the forecast of 39.

~

Antidote

Summer gratitude collage—an antidote—not so much to grief, which is necessary & fruitful—but to pissy attitudes of not enough (my own.)

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Mountaintop Seduction

Mountaintop Seduction

Spring comes slowly to the mountains, and sometimes, seemingly, not at all.
all those many weeks with a stick-filled horizon against muted skies.
patches of snow holding claim to the ground.

But there is a gift in all this waiting–
the fine-tuning of attention
Where magic resides…

That first stencil of leaf
In golden hues
“Nature’s first green.”

And it is the poet,
inside each us, who is awakened
by these subtle shades of hope.

Little by little, and sometimes, seemingly,
“in great leaps,”
the land awakens in a chorus of color.

Which is almost true in the valley, with
its daffodils & dandelions, but not yet
on the mountaintop.

Here the seduction is slower,
sweeter…

Maple buds up the driveway
Spreads of greening across the lawn
The first violets
The return of the chives
and
The lady’s mantle whose leaves have opened
just enough
to hold
the morning dew.

Earth Day Affair

Earth Day Affair

I cozy up in the chair beside the woodstove,
a peppery mug of chai in my hand,
and turn to face out the French doors,
toward the promise of spring
Because promise
is all we have
in these mountains
While the valley below swoons with bloom.

I don’t mean to rhyme, but even without sun,
the mid-day light on this hill beckons;
the grass almost greening;
the bulbs almost bursting;
But the branches
Oh those branches!
Weary with waiting
Darkened with rain
Empty and foreboding.

But wait, what’s that I see?
Faint, so very faint,
but definitely something other
than brown or gray or tiresome Evergreen.

Poetry comes to my lips,
but before I can grab a pen to put down the words I say aloud,
and as if my voice is an invocation
I hear the call of the geese
and look toward the pond
and watch them fly overhead.

Maybe it was the tick of the woodstove
or the soup in the pot
that clouded my vision;
Or perhaps:
the first blush of spring
in the mountains
is happening at this very moment
for all those, like me, who sit still and see.

April 22, 2017
MacArthur Road
Marlboro, Vermont

Sign of Spring remembered

Sign of Spring remembered

Jean-Honoré Fragonard

I miss the Reading Lady on Williston–that tiny road on the back side of town.
She was my favorite sign of spring.
Appearing there on the porch of her aging Victorian.
Layers shed beneath gingerbread lattice
While the season unfolded into summer.
First a cup of tea and a blanket.
Then a glass of lemonade and a sun hat.
And always a book (and reading glasses.)
Well into autumn.
Right there on the corner as I drove by.
Did she move away or worse–pass away?
I like to imagine her on the coast of Maine.
Overlooking the ocean or perhaps beside a quiet bay.
Waves lapping at the dock
Where she reads
And reads
And reads
While the world
Spins
A bit slower
Around her.

~

more on the gift of a woman’s presence in Vermont:
The Flower Lady