Today I was smacked in the head and chest by Emily Dickinson's poem on The Writer's Almanac, titled there as "Going to Heaven." Don't ever think she's sappy. She isn't. Wait till you get to stanza three.
Likewise, smacked by a quotation from Anton Chekhov, who had been praised in a letter that also challenged him to take his writing more seriously. "Your letter struck me like lightning. I became very emotional upon opening it. I nearly cried. I understand now that if I have a gift, I should honor it, which I have not always done in the past." I nearly cried, too, on reading this! Again, not sappy. Serious! Takes courage to do that. And, the Almanac reports, as he became more monetarily successful as a writer, he kept up his doctoring, providing free medical care to the poor. I like that guy.
To make it a Random Coinciday as well as a Poetry Someday in the blog, I was just discussing an excellent production of Three Sisters with an actor last night, in the green room of a Gala event for the McLean County Chamber of Commerce. Yes, a glorious combination of business people and creative people; sometimes the twain shall meet! (And, no doubt, great businesses have plenty of creativity; and great artists, even those without good business sense, figure out how to get the job done!)
RE: Gala. Actors recreated business people from McLean County's past for the business people of McLean County's present, who were receiving the annual Chamber of Commerce Awards. Ruth Steele, who appeared in the wonderful Mitsubishi commercial that made Normal, Illinois famous, was there to speak, and great fun was had by all. I was glad to be a part of it and to join the business community for cordials in the after party.
RE: Three Sisters. A marvelous collaboration of the MFA program at Illinois State University and Heartland Theatre, where the play was performed, directed by Sandi Zielinski. The production itself was both moving and funny, as Chekhov should be, but I was also powerfully moved between acts, as the actors, in character, rolled up rugs and moved furniture to change the scenes. It was part of the change of household going on in the play. Terrific!
Yesterday, I left the house at 11:15 a.m. and returned at 11:15 p.m.--yep, actors work hard. So it was not a Slattern Day. Hence, today is not a church day but a work day: all the laundry, all the dishes, a chicken soup to prepare, plus two poetry class preps. Does this mean I am not going to heaven? (Or that I am!)
On the Street…Somerset House, London
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