I went back to Ohio, but my city wasn't gone. Columbus.* It had gotten bigger. I lived and worked there, as an encyclopedia editor, right after college.
*I think Chrissie*** Hynde, songwriter, was referring to Akron, another of my Ohio cities (grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles)! **AKA "The Ohio Song"
On this current visit, most of my time was spent on or near the Otterbein campus, in Westerville, Ohio, or downtown on Main Street at Columbus Dance Theatre working on a dance theatre production of Cleopatra, with text from Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, new music, and new choreography, which I got to see spring to life from the words and music and mind of choreographer Tim Veach. My sister is playing Cleopatra, and I'm lucky enough to be involved as a coach for the actors.
While I was there, I got to meet Hannah Stephenson, a poet I'd only met online as The Storialist and as a featured poet at Escape Into Life. What fun to have an in-person conversation!
Above: The Death of Cleopatra, Reginald Arthur (1892). Public domain. Look at that amazing toe cramp in her foot. The asps will be played by child dancers!
The Death of Cleopatra, Guido Cagnacci (1659). Also public domain. Nice crown.
***Random coincidink: I call my sister, the fabulous Christina M. Kirk, Chrissy. (Unlike these painted Cleopatras, she won't be showing her boobies, and I hope she doesn't get a toe cramp.)
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited a literary magazine, shelved and retrieved materials in several libraries, walked beans, and taught college English courses. Now I write & edit as a freelancer, blog "eight days a week," study the random, and listen to birdsong.