Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Next Phase. . . Providence Athenaeum.

This Glove post needs to continue.
First of all I gave a talk at the Providence Athenaeum on October 19, 2012.
It was a wet night, chilly and rainy, but so cozy inside this beautiful old library. On Friday nights there are salons, open to the public, about any number of topics. There is wine and sherry, and dainty snacks. This was my Friday, shared with my new friend Stuart Blazer.
Stuart is a poet. I am not well read in the genre of poetry and when I first found out we would be paired...Stuart asking me questions about the Gloves and me responding, mingled with questions from the audience, I was nervous. All I knew about him is that he did not like e-mail, which is my life blood.
Fortunately, this being Rhode Island we met first by accident, at a gathering for Art New England. As soon as we began to talk I knew it would be fine, that we would be fine. That truth was made more sure when I met him for coffee with Christina Bevilaqua, who organizes these events.
Over coffee the three of us fine tuned the format we'd use for our talk. After C. left, Stuart and I continued to talk. Our conversation went from the art project, to e-mail, to childhood, mutual acquaintances and family. It was one of those conversations that gives you goosebumps because the things that draw you closer are so unexpected as to feel other-worldly.
The night of our talk only a few of my friends were able to make it. Of course my husband was there, with his sister Amy who flew up from Florida. It was great to have hugs and familiar faces but most of the crowd were strangers to me, to my work.
Just like the conversation I had over coffee with Stuart this night at the Athenaeum began and ended taking turns in directions I never imagined. It was one of the happiest, most fun events I have been part of. I should have been really nervous, and I was for five minutes before we started. But once the first word was out of Stuart's mouth my nerves were hijacked by adrenaline, and the audience came along for the ride. There were cynics and skeptics, fans and puzzled Joyce devotees. At the end we were all high and happy and there was applause and cheers.
It was magic.