Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day

I'm alone here right now. Bob has taken the kids to Central Park on the subway, and I'm trying in vain to catch up on the mounds of grading I have to do for my online summer classes, not to mention prepare for my evening class, which starts tomorrow. I've just spent an hour taking care of stuff that students were supposed to do and dealing with late and missing work. Argh.

Still musing over Beverly Sills. If my post about her (below) sounds a little stiff, it's because I was typing on our ancient iMac, which is the equivalent of dancing in a straitjacket. I glanced at dozens of articles searching for more info about her children, and they kept saying that Sills basically quit her art entirely, thought she could never go back, after they were born. Her own daughter, her firstborn, could never hear her work. Then her son had multiple needs--developed epilepsy after he was born. The phrase that kept coming up was "She left the stage to care for her children."

This was the late 50s/early 60s. What else was she supposed to do? Fortunately for us, she changed her mind. I wonder what sort of support she must have had in order to do that. From friends, associates, her husband?

My wedding anniversary is tomorrow and I have unfortunately just said a cruel thing, unnecessary and selfish, to my husband before he left with the kids. Bob is a great husband, a terrific father. He basically teaches me what it means to be an artist. He unconditionally supports my creative work. He even likes my "midlife crisis poems," which would make some married men a bit edgy. I don't know why he puts up with my crap sometimes.

I just got an email from my dad that made me cry. I'd sent them an interview of me from the FIT student magazine, and he responded by quoting his favorite poems, all of which I remember him reading to us over and over. This was in response to a comment I'd made that I always wanted to be a visual artist but realized early on that I was better at using language to create images. He'd chosen passages from Byron, Grey's "Elegy," Kipling, etc., that he found to be particulary vivid. But he also cited one of my own poems, "Kids' Night at Kitty Hawk," as his all-time favorite. "Using language is, indeed, a very good way for a true artist to 'paint the picture.' We are very proud of you."

So I'm alone right now. It feels okay. It's a national holiday, but since we don't have any particular plans, and Bob has to work tonight, right now it just feels like a regular day without mail. It's taking everything I've got not to head to the freezer and polish off the pint of Ben & Jerry's AmeriCone Dream.

But I have a good, big, juicy secret: I have been writing poems again. More drafts in the last three days than I've done in over a year. It feels amazing. Sigh. Back to grading.

In the meantime, if you are looking for fun holiday-related web content, check out the latest issue of Everse Video, courtesy of the fabulous Ernie Hilbert (meeting him was one of the many benefits of my sojourn at West Chester) and his sidekick Paul Fleming.

I think I will have that ice cream after all. It's my patriotic duty!


Special Needs Mama Prof said...

Oh have a wonderful anniversary, and enjoy the quiet. (Congrats on the poems, sssshhh. Don't want to upset the muse.)

Tara Marie said...

I hope that Patriotic Duty was absolutely delicious! Happy Anniversary!!! and enjoy this alone can be quite a magical time [even if you are grading papers!]