Sunday, June 30, 2013

What the Week Was Like

I'm sitting here in the kitchen watching the kitten climb into the dog's food dish as the dog lovingly tries to squash him flat, and just the fact that I can translate this scene into words is proof that I'm feeling more rested. At the Frost Place so much of my energy is channeled into listening and reading and talking and writing that the interstices become mute. Every year the power of this week seems impossible to describe, and this year was no exception. Sixteen teachers found their way to a plain brown barn in the mountains of New Hampshire: they came from Dallas and New Orleans, from Indiana and Maine; they came from prep schools and vocational schools, an Ivy League university and a fifth-grade science class. And we read and wrote together, cracked jokes, ate really great cake, played music together in the mosquito darkness. Some of us wept.

These were our catchwords, which arose without forethought and circled among us throughout the week:
what if?
We spoke of Donald Justice, of the psalms, of Shakespeare and Frost, of Kunitz and Wiler and Keats, of Milton and Herbert and Clifton and Gilbert, of more, of many more. We talked about bears and the bands we loved and admired each others' shoes. We listened to Baron Wormser read his poem "Jerry Lee Lewis at Nuremberg," with these lines:

It’s about not being human and enjoying not being human
It’s inhuman and that’s the last thing that’s on Jerry Lee’s mind,
Which always has a naked woman and a right hand going
Crazy on a keyboard in it, which is what a mind should hold,
So that when Göring starts in with his witty repartee
Jerry Lee says, “You are one sad motherfucker.”

And Baron felt like one of the elect, and we, too, felt like the elect because we trusted him and trusted ourselves and each other and this mousy damp barn, and no one, not one single person, ever upstaged another. And I went home with a love note in my hand that was a love note from the place and the moment and our own vulnerable hearts.


Carlene said...

As I read, I feel a peace settle again.
Thank you again for the amazing week, my cup runneth over.

And go rescue the kitten. =)

Ruth said...

What a truly special week. Thank to you and Teresa.