Monday, July 29, 2013

Artistic Journeys

This past weekend, I took the early train from Rochester, NY to New York City, and arrived around lunchtime.  The trip was easy and relaxing.  With the added bonus of wireless Internet on the train, it enabled me to review notes, read online scholarly articles, and make notes in books about Emily Dickinson.

The trip became an artistic journey in and of itself because my time was spent preparing for a project I have begun with the great actress/writer Sarah Dacey Charles.    When I arrived at Penn Station, I was prepared … and I could feel my joyful anticipation of working on the project combine with the pulse of the city. 

In any artistic endeavor, it is a marvelous experience to be in the same room with an artist you respect and admire because there is an almost palpable excitement in gathering talent and ideas together to create something meaningful.  Faith is at work because an understanding already exists before the meeting—the understanding that something magical may happen.   

Faith is present too when there is recognition of the extraordinary gifts of each other and what we each can contribute.   And … in this case … how could we ‘go wrong’ when respect for each other was/is present and the poems and letters of the extraordinary and enigmatic genius of Emily Dickinson were/are our source material?

The hours flew by, and through our work, next steps became clear:  We meet this week via Skype; we visit ‘The Homestead’ (Emily Dickinson’s home in Massachusetts) later this month, and Sarah attends the Emily Dickinson International Society conference in D.C. to hear lectures about Dickinson.  The gathering of knowledge about Emily Dickinson fuels our creative process.  And so, our artistic journey begins together. 

Experience has taught me that whenever next steps are identified, a new work can emerge.  Next steps empower the artist and make a project real because they reveal parts of an undiscovered path. 

They allow the artist to dwell in the possibilities.