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Think, Feel, Laugh
Friday, Jan 12, 2007 from Durango, Colorado
A nearly perfect night and the only reason I say nearly is because I’m still not quite sure if “perfect” rally exists. Well this will be my one and only blog entry from Durango, CO, though there is probably enough to write about five entries. It’s only two nights here in Durango while on my way to New Mexico. My original plans to stay with my mom’s good friend Mike fell through as he’s out of town. I was really looking forward to visit with Mike and to really see more of his artwork. He is a phenomenal water-color painter and I might have to hire him to design the car wrap for Hometown Invasion Tour Round II. Since he’s out of town he got me in touch with a great friend of his, Elayne. Elayne works at the Delaney Library at the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College right here in Durango.
Elayne was in charge of hosting the Growing Voices literary program this evening at the library. It was full of short stories and poetry from a very broad range of people. It has been a long time since I’ve been to something of the sort, but at MSU I did try to attend several of these. It’s really amazing to see local talent come out and fill a library beyond its capacity. What’s impressive is that it’s the first event that Growing Voices of Durango has held at the Delaney Library and they packed the place out. The works of Michael Thompson, Renee Podunovich, Suzanne Tyrpak, David G. Swanson, and David Feela are the works that stood out to really impress me. However, those are just a few of the names, and it would take a day of writing to summarize all their work.
I’ve always enjoyed writing poetry and short stories and I’ve always thought that I was pretty bad at it. But as much as I love to write poetry, I’ve never been a fan of it as weird as that sounds. But all the poetry I heard tonight was fluid, precise, and beautiful written. The short stories were all quite clever. Between all the writers they drew on nearly every emotion, speaking of culture, love, humor, childhood, abstraction, emotion and more. And as Elayne closed by saying, “Thanks for making us think, feel, and laugh with you.”
***There is always more to say, but never enough can be said to summarize everything. Tonight that refers to probably the best conversation of the entire trip, probably the best conversation I’ve had in at least a year. Elayne is 100% Navajo and my ears and heart were wide open to listen to her talk about her heritage. It was a brilliantly down to earth conversation, and to think that I have only known her for a little more than 24 hours. See, people are not strangers; they are friends we have not yet met. It was fantastic to get to know her, and we didn’t only have a Studs-Terkel-like conversation, we even talked about Studs and how he inspired each of us. I’ll walk away with a lot from the chat. Life, memories, family, and all very genuine. Once again, as continued from the literature, we continued to “think, feel, and laugh.”
Posted: Jan 12, 2007 | 548 words | 4 Comments
Comment by mom
From baraga, MI
it is aresome that when Plan A didn't work out, Plan B was every bit as wonderful! Here's to great conversation & appreciation to Elayne for opening her home to you at the last minute!
Comment by Michael Wendel
From Lansing, MI
did you know in colorado tags may be ripped off of pillows and mattresses.
Comment by Barb
From L'Anse across the Bay, MI
Hey Bugsy, What a great idea for Friends of the Library! We are always looking for something special to do with the community. This would be tops! Pull in our local poets and writers and let them have the floor. Thank you. Your mom and I are in this group and I bet she would say this is GO! Have fun and safe travels. Barb
Comment by Angela
From Ferndale, MI
Wow, Durango gets another 10 points of awesome. Such good things come from there, it seems. I only hear wonderful things like this about that place.