At Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association's Authors Spotlight last weekend (January 28-31, 2016), invited authors gathered in a circle warmly constellated by the authors themselves, their books, and those who would celebrate their accomplishments.
I was proud to be in their company. We spoke of our writing, our rewriting, and the beloved faculty and friends who "held us" as, over the years, we did our writers work. Writing for all of us, is a vocational imperative, one that would capture us and hold us tight until we did what was asked: to do the work of tending soul in and of the world. Each of us wrote as scholars, as investigators and more importantly as simple people who chose to hear the voices of ancestors, ghosts, society's shadow, the earth, and the cosmos asking that we speak on behalf of their very real desires. We are writers who would make our contribution by engaging in our very particular expressive artistic form, our humble and sometimes courageous publications.
I am home now, finding a way to scratch out time to read the works of my colleagues, all of them are students-become-teachers. I will read Priscilla Hobbs' analysis of a Walt Disney culture that reflected a society in post World War II America, and continues this work, as the country reinvents itself (WALT'S UTOPIA: DISNEYLAND AND AMERICAN MYTHMAKING). I will reconsider the Moby Dick myth, in Robert D. Wagner's environmentally relevant interpretation of a beloved classic (MOBY DICK AND THE MYTHOLOGY OF OIL). I will read a story of the underside of hoarding (THE HOARDING IMPULSE: SUFFOCATION OF THE SOUL by Renee M. Winters) and when I am finished I will read more, even as I write. I want to know what lies in that quiet place best described by my friend, Dennis Patrick Slattery as "just below the water line" (JUST BELOW THE WATER LINE: SELECTED POEMS). Much gratitude to them all.