Sunday, April 4, 2010
Alicia Holmes, writer in residence at the Jack Kerouac House, held an abstract writing workshop. This workshop was organized by Mary Ann de Stefano of Mad About Words. When I arrived at the Kerouac House, the writers, all of them women were already hard at work. They had been encouraged to incorporate some element of the mythical into a short story. I started sketching as everyone was writing in the living room. When I was half-finished with the sketch, Mary Ann called all the writers into the living room to share their work.
One woman wrote a story told from the point of view of a modern day Medusa. She complained of all the statues that littered her front lawn. Neighbors would stop over and admire how lifelike the statues were. Medusa, of course knew they had all been alive. She considered a plane flight to get away from her troubles, but imagined getting upset with fellow passengers and turning them all to stone so that mode of transportation was not an option. If she got upset, the plane would certainly drop from the sky like a meteor.
Kathryn Sullivan, wrote a haunting story about looking at a painting in a museum. Her mind wandered and she felt at peace as she approached the work. In her mind she imagined the work as peaceful and violent all at the same time. She felt that if she reached out, the painting might heal her. She was transfixed and drew closer. Suddenly alarms sounded and a guard asked her to step away from the painting. She had reached out and touched a Jackson Pollock painting. The painting was titled "Lavender Mist."