As some of you may know, I am a BIG poetry lover and so was excited when the Australian poet Marita Hastings asked if I would be willing to collaborate on a book of her poems. HECK YES.
When I read the first line of her manifesto poem “Word Pianist”, I knew this was going to be a good fit:
When everything reminded me of something
else, I knew it was time to write.
Hi all, I am back–almost. My computer has been in and out of the shop–and will go back again, but I wanted to touch base quickly to say that I had a great and instructive time this summer and I am happy to touch base again. Also, this:
As almost everyone knows, we lost the great writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks on Sunday. His books were enormously important to me. He had been on my family’s bookshelves for years, and had been spoken of with such reverence from my folks, that I felt I knew him before I had read anything. Then while recovering from surgery on the couch at my folks’ place, I picked up An Anthropologist on Mars and immediately fell in love with essays. It was clear from the first reading that he was a man in who was deeply curious and delighted by all he encountered in the world. I never came away from his books without feeling that the world was totally broken open to me in a new way.
I will probably re-read one of his most recent meditations on dying several times throughout the rest of my life to remember how powerful the human experience is–even at the end, which Sacks described so vividly and with love. Like every one else, I followed any and all inklings to his failing health after his announcement in February of his terminal condition. My husband Graham was the one who broke the news to me and was not surprised when I cried openly upon hearing it. I said, “I don’t think there is anyone I’d rather hear more from on what dying is like.” Graham, without missing a beat, said: “I think he would love to tell us about it if he could.”
I think of him in these lines of the Mary Oliver poem “When Death Comes”:
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
May we all be so fortunate to be so alive and awake to the surrounding world while we are here as he seemed to be.
Hey Hudson Valley peeps! My comics class at the Garrison Art Center is BACK! 4 Saturdays beginning October 31st! All the info can be found here.
Here are what some people have said about the class:
I loved this class and loved Summer as a teacher! Her blend of thoughtful instruction, genuine encouragement and sense of fun empowered everyone in the class to discover and create with great freedom while gaining new skills and perspectives on art. I’m looking forward to taking more of Summer’s classes in the future. Can’t recommend them highly enough!
– Jen M.
not sure anybody knows this (or even cares!), but I do a lot of posting on Tumblr. Sometimes it’s comics, but mostly it’s images and notes of my working life–what I’m listening to, looking at, thinking about, etc. If any of you are on there, let me know–I’d love to see what you’re up to!
Greetings all! I just returned from Vermont where I ate my weight in Maple Creamees, taught a great workshop, and got to see the Graphic Lives show I have several works in. The show closes TOMORROW, so if you are anywhere near Burlington, Vermont and have had any hankering to see this show–PLEASE GO. My work aside, the show is just plain wonderful. Beautiful work from Glynnis Fawkes, Jennifer Hayden, and Alex Costantino fill this beautiful space right on Church Street. Also, when you’re done you can walk next store to the Bluebird Cafe kiosk and get the best twist of maple and mocha soft serve ice cream you’ll ever taste. It’s a little trip to heaven. Promise.
Every year at this time I think I’m “at a crossroads” in some form. My restlessness and boredom is at a peak, so is my lack of focus. I think DRAMATIC thoughts about my inability to feel engaged, wondering about the very nature of my purpose. I wrote a big blog post talking about the reasons for this and it felt SO TRUE. Then perusing my journals and my own sketchbooks a few days ago, I saw the truth: I feel this way every year at the exact same time and all I really need is a vacation.
Lucky for me, literally everything I had planned for July and August fell through. I was supposed to move, go on a big trip, do a ton of work–and NONE of it worked out. I’ve decided to take it for what it is: a GIANT swath of time to take a break!
Every year I try to take a small sabbatical from the internet. I find it jump starts everything in my life–my inspiration, my motivation, my sense of clarity, and my over all sense of health. There is NEVER a convenient time to do this and honestly, the busier I get, the harder it is to do. This seems like a perfect time to do it.
I’ll be on an internet sabbatical for at least a week, but I’m extending its reach by going on a break from posting comics here until the end of August. I’ll post news items, but the meat will return at the end of August.
See you soon!