CHAPTER ELEVEN

PRESENTATIONS BY CELEBRANTS

We have our last meal together. People talk in clusters and are reluctant to part, aware that the end is near. Finally we assemble for an exhibition by participants of their own work.

I show my slides of women artists at work and read from the manuscript of my book, a chapter on "fears" in women.

And Jeffery Mundy shows slides of his "night" paintings.

Then we move out of the darkened interior to the warm, hazy sunlight. We sit on the lawn near the flowing waters of the Sound. Anaïs sits for a while on the grass with the others and then moves to a chair in the shade. All around us new buds burst forth and birds clamor in the trees; it is Spring. There is such a chaos of burgeoning nature and tumultuous emotions that it is hard sometimes to attend to what is being said.

Sas Colby floats over the lawn in a series of fantasy masks and capes that exalt the imagination, chanting, as bells tinkle:

The point, my friends, is to enjoy. I will take you to a feast of fools, and we will give ourselves to celebration...
but I am afraid to look into your faces and see you looking back to me...
You will see only what I want you to see...
Today I am a butterfly spreading my wings and searching for happiness...
When I find happiness I will search for more...
Now I am in a vast field of flowers with music, color, and joy...
I see a figure dressed in a long cape with a high collar framing her head...

The atmosphere entices people toward openness. Jeffery and James Mundy read to us from their book, called Blueprints, which James is in the process of printing himself. Here is a broadsheet from their book, which they later dedicate to Magic Circles.

when in public
poetry should take off its clothes
and wave to the nearest person in sight.
it should be seen in the company of
thieves & lovers & brothers
rather than that of journalists & publishers.
it should fall in love with children
and woo them with fairytales.
it should guide those ones who think they are safe
to the nearest busy road and leave them there.
when the electricity fails, it should wear sunglasses
and pretend to be blind.
it should shout: EVIL EVIL
from the roofs of the world's stockexchanges
and whisper VIVE LA FRANCE through loudspeakers
on french flag day.
it should never weep until alone and then
only if it has veiled all the mirrors
and filled all the cracks with powder.
it should wander in the darkness until dawn
looking for rivers.
it should parade ladies in evening gowns
spotlighting white shoulders and painted eyes
and crown each man in tuxedo with drooping daisy chains.

it should rush emery boards to madmen hanging onto ledges
by their fingernails

it is the last blade of grass
being picked from the city park.

Daisy Aldan reads some of her poetry, casting a spell with her enchanting voice. These two poems she dedicated to the "women of the Weekend".

THESE WOMEN

On legs as sturdy as columns of marble
eyes focussed beyond banality,
they stride forward, wings in full sail;
their noble heads attuned to galaxies,
their soles listening to the heart of earth
pounding in primal hexameters.
As centaurs were half horse, half man,
these women are both goddess and temple.

OUT OF HER EXILE

Out of her exile
out of the blurred webs of her dream
out of the captive shroud of stony death
she emerges into a drift of light
which illuminates the flowering fruit trees,
their benevolent blossoms.

Star rays resonate
in revolving, reaching toward her
who molds herself forth to the encounter.
After long gestation in impotence,
she survives the major implorings, minor
retreats, dissonant defeats.

Weaving a cosmic
geometry in curves, spirals
and angles of the intoned Word, having
trusted its constancy among confusions,
one incredible morning, she raises,
stirs, chooses, becomes a world.

Moira, golden girl shimmering in the sunlight, reads a poem and dedicates it to Adele because it refers to the I Ching.
SEVEN EIGHT LAY THEM STRAIGHT
THERE IS NO
WATER IN THE LAKE

I cast
the I Ching
with pick up
sticks
over and
over I
ask the
endless
question.
Will it pass?
Will it pass?
This love?
This pain?
My marriage?
This day?

Over and
over its
hexagrams
answer
in bright
dime-store
colors.
Let it go.
Let it go.
SUPREME
GOOD
FORTUNE

Trew Bennett speaks to us intimately about her relation to her pottery and says how:
My mother did not want to be touched nor touched me, which made me feel that if I worked with my hands, squeezing and making things that other people touch with their hands, that their hands would then touch me. More important than the pottery to me is the process going on, the circle of energy used and the cycles of creation. All of the body is intimately involved in kicking the wheel and working with clay, and as the wheel is going around, I go into the clay, which gives me a feeling of total integration. And I am very satisfied working with my mate. We each have our own areas within the whole and work very hard towards sustaining ourselves as potters.

"As usual" says Larry Sheehan, "I feel like THE WEED IN THE GARDEN", and he reads from a comic novel on which he is working, called Luck.

Evelyn Clark says, "I want you all to remember that revolutionary politics is based on the philosophy and logic of dialectics." She reads to us a passage from Trotsky on pre-revolutionary art.

Nancy Williamson reads from an essay called "I am ------", which appeared in "The Second Wave:"

I could tell you what I wish I were and what I've always wanted to be, but I can't tell you who I am. I could tell you what I do and what I want to do, but I can't tell you what I am ... In the beginning my diaries read like this:

Today Margaret and I went skating. Margaret is moving to another town soon, and I will be very lonely.

Now my journal reads like this:

I looked up tonight in the business meeting and Pat was sitting across from me ... I have seen her almost daily, for many weeks, but tonight bathed in the glow of my strange new affection, she seemed a different person ... l am in love with her, but I am afraid to write about it much less talk about it with anyone.

...At this time the journal is the only map I have.

Shirley McConahay reads us one of her first stories.

Then Nadine Daily reads a chapter from her symphonic novel, feeling:

Petrified by my first exposure...but I cannot think of any place I would rather be reading, even here my total being vibrates with each vocal cord, I embody every tone with its total emotion.

Suzanne Benton shows us her metal masks, saying:
When I learned to weld metal, I felt an enormous power at being able to bend, twist, separate, and blend the metal. It was like magic too, as I stood there all covered up in mask, apron, and heavy gloves, wielding the torchflame: I wanted to create a form which would make people want to communicate with it. I found a theatrical way to use these masks in telling stories about "Women of Ancient Heritage".

In conclusion, William Claire reads several poems, one of which he says is about "proceeding from the dream outward" and is called,

LOOKING FOR A SONG*

The convoluted dream of the bug
going uphill through snow in poet's clothes
can rouse me from the luxury
of a Sunday morning bed and woman
to begin anew the architecture
of the lean poem aching for flesh
the narrative begging for sound
to strike the first note
the way a sculptor begins to chip
into solid rock long before
a form begins to emerge
the melodic pattern takes hold
an affirmation to live among the bugs
and the strange coherence of our dreams.

Kisses are given, tears shed. Larry, the magicians' assistant, pulls away the car to take Frances Steloff, Daisy Aldan, and Nadine Daily back to New York City. Everything becomes very quiet. Adele and I take a leftover bottle of champagne into the solarium, where watching the sun set, we talk over the happiness and sadness of all that transpired during the Weekend.

We feel fulfilled, for we had made our dream of the Weekend a reality for other people. The Weekend saw the coming together of bright sensitive people, the mystery of intuitive sharing and attaining new heights of understanding. Ordinary talk did not exist. It was an actual flowering and later we see that new flowers continue to open up from the stem of our dream.

Trew: The Celebration ends suddenly as though no one wants to go through the ordeal of summing it up or saying a formal goodbye. Everyone begins swirling up and down the stairs. I am aware of Ana´s draped in a long scarf still maintaining the still center of who she is even at these teary and confused times. Adele and Valerie look at us as we scatter like fragments of their dreams before their eyes.

* Later this poem is included in a book Strange Coherence of Our Dreams with poems by William Claire and art by Adele Aldridge. It is printed by James Mundy and published by the Magic Circle Press.

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