Once again, Peter was helping some of us at breakfast. I asked him a few questions, which made me feel better going into today’s reading. When our group reconvened, we work-shopped a final time. I felt as good as can be expected for someone who does not enjoy reading their work out loud or being in front of large groups of people. When I had to read, it wasn’t torture. Sue reminded me that everyone feels that way – the nerves of putting your words out there for others to hear. I think I was less insane about it than last year. Progress? Resignation?
My favorite part of showcase day is seeing what everyone else has been doing. I know my roommates had been coming in after 11pm from oil painting!! One art teacher showed me pictures of her print making work in progress which really helped me understand the process.
My least favorite part of showcase day is the flat tire I found waiting for me at the parking lot. But that, my friends, is par for the course.
Last year at aTi was the first time I had written non-academic pieces since middle school. This summer I thought maybe the proverbial well had dried up and I would have nothing to write about. But that didn’t happen. Thanks Peter! Take that self-doubt.
Before I left for aTi, while I was buying travel-size shampoo and the like, I ran into a co-worker in Target. She questioned why I would choose to spend my summer writing when other peers are sleeping until noon. She asked me if I like it. My hesitation could definitely be taken as a negative response, but it’s not that easy. I don’t think I could ever say writing (especially poetry) is this glorious process. Contrary to some people’s belief, gummy bears and rainbows don’t shoot out of my pen. It is frustrating and sometimes seems impossible. But towards the end there is a different feeling. I think relief is the best way to describe how I feel – to have made something and let it breathe. Although if you ask me later, I might offer a contradictory response.