Emily and Me, part II

Emily and Me, part II

The Emily Dickinson seminar – The Incredible Brightness of Being (given by Mark Scarbrough, at the Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, Connecticut) – is over now, and there is so much still to ponder, to appreciate and revel in. Bits and pieces of poems and background, philosophy and technique float through my every day since, sparking reflections, discussions, and work. The titles of Mark’s lectures tease a multitude of starting points: I -The Soul Selects Her Own Society;

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Prisoners

Prisoners

Theater – as all the narrative arts do – realizes an outward existence of our internal dramas, enabling us to see them clearly, and to meaningfully experience the feelings we have about our own like struggles. The very purpose of original Greek dramatic form was to facilitate catharsis for the audience, an evocation of emotion which relied on resonance with the characters and their moral, existential trials. A cleansing purge allowed the lessons of the story to be received,

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The Play’s The Thing

The Play’s The Thing

The epitome of storytelling genres is The Theater, where words, objects, persons, art, and music are fashioned into a sense-engulfing parade-display-embodiment of narrative, sign, symbol, and meaning. I find it always a delicious treat. At its most exalted theater is a soul-filling experience, an enrichment, transfiguring and mesmerizing. And of course, the perfect assemblage of all of my favorite pursuits – art and design congruent, coherent with metaphor, philosophy, words, and song.

My favorites (mostly seen on or off Broadway,

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Pliny’s Villa

Pliny’s Villa

Playwrights give some direction regarding settings, accessories, and the placement and movement of people, but most of the visual nature of a play is left unsaid. Interpretation, and then realization of the physical aspects of a production are left to set designers, costumers, and prop departments. It is quite a creative challenge to evoke the world of a play from dialogue alone.

It can be a fun and challenging design exercise, too. My Scholar Garden (published in Issue 13 of MUSE) was invented from a description,

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Selfie

Selfie

I have had moments of self-recognition prompted by the sharing of someone else’s experience, just like Katherine May, the author of The Electricity of Every Living Thing. While hers came as she listened to an interview on the radio, mine came when reading an autobiography – Someone Somewhere, I think (by Donna Williams). But the recognition was the same, in that that we both identified with another who described their life and personhood as an autistic.

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Curiouser and Curiouser

Curiouser and Curiouser

I am like Christopher (the main character in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) in these ways:

I like puzzles. I am always looking for things to do that have (or can have) a puzzle to solve. Designing a garden or a building or furnishing rooms is puzzle-solving. So is writing a story. And figuring out a TV reality show winner before the finale.
I like murder mysteries,

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