Tuesday, August 23, 2011

poetry and palm springs

On Friday Jamie and I saw this amazing documentary called Poetry of Resilience, which profiles a handful of writers who’ve escaped horrific political situations (the Hiroshima bombing, the crackdown after the Iranian Revolution, the Cultural Revolution in China, and holocausts European and Rwandan). All are scarred in ways that cannot be healed—a part of each of them has died, says poet Li-Young Lee. But all write heart-stopping poetry that gets at the essence of things in a way that’s undeniably alive.

Watching it (and the other films that were shown as part of Laemmle’s DocuWeeks shorts package; there are only a couple of days left to catch it!), I felt ready to stop being so all-about-me and start engaging with the world again. Maybe even in a helpful way. I recently heard about PEN’s prison mentoring program, and I’m thinking that might be a good place to start. When you’re corresponding via snail mail, you don’t have to worry that you’ll be hanging out in your car on Normandie for an hour because your mentee got arrested and couldn’t call to cancel. Your mentee will already have been arrested.

But before signing up to save the world, I enjoyed a big all-about-me binge. Cathy and I took a short but long-discussed sister trip to Palm Springs, where we laid by the pool, laid around the spa, ate some Thai food and watched Hoarding in our hotel room while practicing yoga moves (hers were fancy, mine less so). We also hit the Cabazon outlets, which I loved a little too much. I may be writing more about that soon, since I’ll be guest-blogging for the Ironing Board Collective in September and October. I am so excited. I am now off to give myself a crash course in fashionista-ism.


Claire said...

I haven't read a lot of poetry, but I *love* Li-Young Lee's. Been meaning to look for more work by him.

Cheryl said...

Yeah, he's kind of a genius. If you like his stuff, you might check out Dorianne Laux or David Hernandez, two of my other favorites.