Today, I'm grateful for an accommodating boss. I wanted very much to go and hear Jeanette de Nicolis Meyer speak at our city Art Gallery. She is spending a month in Christchurch as artist in residence at the Arts Centre, and was speaking as the Friends of the Art Gallery speaker of the month, on "The Narrative Thread".
The Friends of the Art Gallery tend to be of a certain generation - or at least the ones who attend "Speaker of the Month" are. The generation of "Ladies who Lunch". Consequently the events are on a Wednesday morning. Some of us have to work. Not today. I told my boss I had things I needed to do, and could I come in late? Fortunately he said yes. I'll make up the time in a week or two when my second, temporary, job comes to an end. Leaving me less tired and with less money. You can't have it all!
Jeanette is an abstract art quilter, and yet her quilts tell stories. It was fascinating to hear her speak and to come to understand more of the symbolism behind her quilts. And I was pleased to hear that an exhibition of six Pacific Northwest quilters, of which she is one, will be coming to Christchurch later in the year. And also that she is having an open studio in a week's time (at the weekend, so I won't have to figure out how to take more time off work).
In the evening I attended another in the local Poets' Collective autumn series of poetry readings. Bring your own poetry in the first half, and guest readers in the second half. It was an interesting evening, because each of the four guest readers presented poetry from a different European country, both in the original and in their own translations - poetry from Germany, France, Russia and Italy.
All this led to a rather full day, and inspiration for my own poetry was a little lacking. However, I'm beginning to see my series of daily poems as a sort of poetry sketchbook. I'm not trying to do huge landscapes or fully developed portraits here. Some sketches may be more detailed than others, but on some days, perhaps a quick sketch will suffice.
The Narrative Thread
In the darkened auditorium
she speaks of the softness of cloth,
of the threads which stitch our lives.
We emerge to a river of glass.
Its panes fracture the brittle sky
into a thousand pieces.
(I included a photo of the art gallery windows in this post)