A courtyard waterfall is splashing down into a koi pond here, playing the same music that plays in the closing moment of Malick’s The New World. Water skippers are flitting about on the surface on their tiny skates, barely troubling the surface. Beneath the lily pads, koi of all colors and sizes drift and ponder, lazy as cattle.
It’s a glorious morning here at The Glen Workshop on the campus of St. John’s College, sunny and cool.
Anne is here on the same bench, reading poetry and absorbing inspiration for future poems.
I’m getting ready to work on Chapter Two of a whole new story… the first new story I’ve dreamed up in years. (The four books of The Auralia Thread are written in my head; the sequels just need to be put down on paper.) This story’s about a fifteen-year-old kid trying to survive high school. So I’m falling backward into memories that amuse and humble me.
Warren, the saint of Eighth Day Books, just walked by, headed for bed. He was up all night setting up the portable version of what Gregory Wolfe calls “the bookstore of heaven.” You should see it. It’s a wonder to behold. So many of the greatest spiritual books ever written, all in one place.
Last night, Anne and I reconnected with so many friends: Bob Denst, Sara Zarr, Julie Mullins, Beth Bevis, Mary Kenagy and her very good friend Mark, Linford Detweiler, Karin Bergquist, Todd Truffin, Luci Shaw, Robert Clark, Steve Cairns and his family, Scott Cairns and his family, Tyrus Clutter, Matt Gallant, Father Dave Denny, Rich Murray, Allison Smythe-Leal, Nicole Meline…. I could go on and on. Pierce Pettis is around, so are Jeanine Hathaway and Barry Moser. What a fantastic crowd. Being here is such a privilege. It can be exhausting, being around so much inspiration.
And yet it’s so different than last year. This year, everything that was only imagined is real: People have seen, held, and read Through a Screen Darkly, and so we’re talking about the power of film, and comparing notes on what we’ve seen and haven’t seen. When I walked into Warren’s store, I was stunned to find he had put up a display of Auralia’s Colors at the very front of the first table — copies of the book cover, and a display copy of the book, which will be out one month from now.
What a year it’s been. This is the first week Anne and I have had to rest, rejuvenate, and think about the future. It’s going to be quite a time. Concerts by Pierce Pettis and Over the Rhine here at St. John’s, and then another by Patty Griffin in downtown Santa Fe. I’m hosting an open mike on Tuesday night. We’re going to hike, eat our favorite food, listen to the coyote pups yelp and yip in the canyon outside our window at night, and watch thunderstorms move around the area, purple and explosive.
Wish you were here.
Stay tuned for photographs. I’ll post them when I have time.