Notes From The Writing Life

Posted on by Sandell Morse

At the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, walking to dinner, talking with my husband on the phone, I listen as he tells me of a visit with his sister and brother in law. A friend called inviting them all over to see her new TV. It’s huge, of course, and 3D. “You wear these glasses,” my husband says. 

And on the path, passing a gazebo, a flower bed where violets bloom, a stone statue of a cherub, a hedge of fragrant boxwood, I see them all, three overweight, old people with white hair or no hair, slumping on a couch or in chairs, all wearing those ridiculous glasses and watching. 

“Oh, please,” I say.

At dinner that evening with artists, writers and composers, our talk turns to our second discipline. If we have one, what would it be? Or if we don’t what would we like it to be? For example, if you are a writer, would your second discipline be art or music? Do you tend to be more visual or musical in your prose or your poetry? And what of the artists and musicians? What would they choose?

An artist, a colorist, among us, says she’s working with the color red. She wants to find true reds, not purple reds, not orange reds. She wants to open her studio, display her reds and ask everyone who visits to tell her what emotion they experience seeing each version of the color red. She wants her red to evoke feeling. 

I understand. Feeling, connection, empathy, compassion are the road to what is best in each of us, and no matter how idealistic, elusive or foolish that may sound, this what we work toward– for ourselves and for you. 

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