A lovely collaboration between artists and writers is happening this month in Door County.
Beautiful places attract artists, and these places also inspire artists to create more beauty. Door County has always been full of artists and writers, of music and theatre. One could spend days visiting artists’ studios, viewing art, attending concerts, watching plays, reading the works of locals, or attending classes of all sorts to feed a creative interest.
In the short time I’ve lived here, I’ve attended five poetry workshops. I belong to two writing groups. I’m helping out on the board of Write-On Door County, whose aim is to nurture reading and writing in the area. I’ve taught three writing classes, and will teach two more this week: one for seniors who want to write down their stories, and one for high school kids who are writing college entrance essays.
But I’m getting sidetracked. Edgewood Orchard Gallery is one of those lovely “art” places to visit. The old barn, refurbished years ago, has light streaming in, onto a changing collection of artists’ work for sale. Outside, there’s a sculpture garden that’s perfect for meandering. The works are beautiful and varied, and every time I go, it feels like I’m visiting an art museum rather than a place to shop. ( Kudos to the owners for making me feel that way.)
Speaking of owners Nell and JR. Jarosh, they are honoring Write-on, Door County with a special benefit this month. 10% of all profits will be donated to the organization, and a few of their artists have graciously donated a piece of art to the cause. In addition, the gallery and WODC are collaborating with an ekphrastic challenge called Art/Speaks. Ekphrastic poetry has been written for centuries; they are poems written in response to a piece of art. So this month, writers and poets are encouraged to wander the gallery and write. There are chairs, there is paper. We can sit and ponder and write in front of a piece of art that speaks to us.
That’s a long introduction to my ekphrastic poem. But beyond posting a poem, I’m grateful to live in a community that encourages me to create, to write.
On Swim Team, no 26, a painting by Rebecca Kinkead
Line at the Diving Board
We did it all our lives: formed queues.
We watched, single-filed, thinking of what we’d have, we’d do.
Waiting for our time in the sun.
Yet when it was our turn
to sit at our mother’s deathbed
lose our job or breast or house
question God for pain
we were no more ready than the person before us
fall through air
try to swim.