She lived the poetry she could not write.
~ Oscar Wilde
At first I didn’t think anyone would come . . . but they did, and I don’t just mean the kids from the ‘hood who were there for the free food. Sold a few things to people I wasn’t related to, which was a bonus. And my Kit stuck it out with me bravely, which I treasure most of all. Now I can tick this one off my bucket list: my first show in the bag. I can’t tell you how good it feels to have that behind me.
Getting ready for my first-ever gallery show this weekend (words & pictures together) after which I’ll be “hung all month.” (The vernacular of the gallery culture isn’t doing much for my nerves.) It would be fair to say that I approach this experience with some amount of anxiety, mostly about the words. My very writerly friend Amanda bolstered my nerve by sharing what her professors said to her before her first reading. It makes me smile every time I read it, so I’m going to share it with you all.
Professor 1, dinner-plate-sized glasses sliding dangerously close to the edge of her nose, head tilted slightly upward: “It will only feel like you’re naked, darling…actual nakedness we leave to the theater department.”
Professor 2, a pragmatic fleecy shawl dripping over her generous shoulders: “It’s damn cold outside. In here it’s warm and we have snacks. They’ll love whatever you say out of gratefulness.”
Professor 3, effeminately pushing away the other two with flighty hands and a dramatic eye-roll: “No one person picked you to be here—many people did. Now straighten your shoulders, get up there, and own it.”