Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My interview from Blue Sky Dreaming

Mom. See question #4.

Blue Sky Dreaming sent me the following 5 questions for me to answer. Willow has also done this on her blog. And others before her. I don't know where it all began.

1)What is your favorite childhood book and why?

Treasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson. My Dad read this book aloud to me which makes it special. I later read it aloud to my son. I loved the sense of adventure and the idea that a young person could go off with a pirate across the sea searching for treasure. The idea of an island was romantic too and the fascinating people met along the way in this adventure. In my novel Catching the Light, I mention this book as one Damaris loved as a child and liken Grandpere to Long John Silver.

2)What attracted you to Cape Cod and what kept you there?

I moved to Cape Cod from New Hampshire when, after divorcing from my husband, I met R. R worked near Cape Cod and we chose it as a beautiful place to live together and raise my son who was young then. Cape Cod felt like the "suburban" areas in which I grew up in Connecticut. Although I do not do a lot of things on the ocean, I love to look at it and walk on the beaches. After R. and I broke up, I stayed on Cape Cod. Through the years I had numerous jobs, met many people, had fun learning new things such as yoga, exploring alternative healing options, enjoying all the art and cultural benefits. I stayed partly due to inertia as I always felt it was too expensive on Cape Cod. However, once I lost my inexpensive 20 year house rental, I discovered it is now expensive to live just about everywhere. I also stayed because I had so many friends and knew of so many resources on the Cape. Plus the beauty of the place.

3) How has yoga affected your physical, spiritual and artistic life?

I discovered yoga twenty years ago and immediately loved it. I have taken classes from different teachers through the years. Since practicing yoga I have learned to sense my body quite well, to quickly discern when tensions are arising. And now I know what to do about it. Do more yoga. Yoga has kept me flexible though I have always been naturally flexible. Yoga has taught me to listen to my body and to only do what is comfortable for my own body. I have learned not to compare myself with others and even with my (younger) self.

On a spiritual level, yoga classes often feel like my version of going to church. Here is a group of people focused on one task. Together we work with our bodies and minds in a somewhat unusual way. Often yoga practice includes a period of meditation. But even when it doesn't, yoga is a meditative discipline. Yoga does not consist only of physical postures which are called asanas. There are 8 limbs of yoga which include ethical precepts, personal practices (such as study of the self, surrender of all thoughts etc), Pranayama or the art of Yogic breathing, concentration, meditation and Samadhi which is a transcendent state where consciousness becomes absorbed in the soul. A state of truth and bliss. One can delve into these aspects of yoga or not. One can choose to remain just on the physical level too. I have explored some of these qualities but not in great depth. Yet yoga remains for me a spiritual as well as physical discipline.

Hmm. My artistic self. Yoga has helped me release some of my fears and thus become a stronger person in the world. And it has helped me be comfortable with process, not product and to do things slowly and at my own pace. Also yoga is non-competitive and this viewpoint is helpful in keeping me real and focused. Although I think I am basically a non-competitive person. I am sure there are influences hard to discern and articulate.

4) Share your favorite photograph and why.

At the present moment this photo of Mom is my favorite. (See above). It was the last photo I took of her only weeks before she died. I love the look on her face, full of surprise and wonder. She is wearing the red heart necklace I bought for her birthday. when she saw the photo we had a wonderful conversation in which she said the photo didnt look like her. And when I asked her who it looked like she said ME (Suki). I felt so happy she acknowledge we looked alike because for so many years she said we did not look alike.

5) If you could have three guests for dinner, a poet, an author and an artist who would you chose and why?

Poet: Edna St. Vincent Millay. She was one of the few women poets, besides Emily Dickinson, that was mentioned in high school English classes, and I have always admired her. I have read many of her poems, read the biographies of her life. I also was honored with a residency at the Millay Colony for the Arts twice. the colony is located on Edna's summer property in Austerlitz, New York. The first time I was there Edna's sister was still living there in the house. Quite elderly of course. She lived a very dramatic and passionate life. I would love to hear her read her poems (actually I had a recording of her reading at one time) and talk to her about writing.

Author: Cora Sandel. Cora Sandel was a Norwegian writer who lived in Paris in the 1920's. Her masterwork The Alberta Trilogy is one of my favorite books. I am assuming Alberta's life as told in the novels is somewhat parallel to Sandel's life. However, none of the biographies about Sandel have been translated into English so I havent been able to read about her life. I'd love to talk with her about her views of Paris in the 20's and her interesting and long life.

Artist:Emily Carr. She was a Canadian painter at the turn of the last century. Her paintings of trees and totem poles and Canadian landscape are filled with passion. Often she uses swirling strokes like Van Gogh. In later life when she couldn't hike out into the wild to paint she began to write and published a number of novels and a journal called Hundreds and Thousands. She lived a fascinating life (though maybe she didn't discern it as such) and I think we could have some wonderful conversations and she could maybe free up my painting style.

If anyone would like me to interview you with five questions just leave a comment saying "Interview me."

Here's the instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me".
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

43 comments:

Jude said...

I'm so interested in how you describe yoga, the body is a temple

patti said...

Wonderful interview Suki! Your experience with yoga is so close to mine.

I nearly picked up Treasure Island myself in the library the other day (for my son) but I just may re-read it myself!

Oh, and please 'interview me!'

sukipoet said...

Jude, I do think of the body as a temple. Life as sacred. Thanks.

Patti, I'd be glad to interview you. It may take me a couple of days to email the questions.

willow said...

Perfect guest list for your special dinner party. May I come, too? :)

That lovely picture of your mother is priceless.

sukipoet said...

Willow oh yes you are invited. And I'll have some black tea for you too.

soulbrush said...

suki, i know so much more about you now, thanks. you know how much that photo of your mother means to me. the clarity of the blue and the red are simply breathtaking. i hope you have it framed and somewhere close to you. i wouldn't mind being interviewed either if you have time.

soulbrush said...

no, who is chewy?

Starlene said...

What a lovely, articulate interview! And you SO have your mother's wide, curious eyes. I'll bet nothing ever escaped either one of you. : )

studio lolo said...

I love love love this interview!
Your spiritual side has always come out in your posts, at least for me. I'm going to look up that Canadian artist. I love being introduced to artists friends are inspired by.
And that picture of your mother is amazing. I feel that way every time I see it. I can envision her beautiful aura.
You can count me in for an interview at your leisure. It will be interesting to see what kinds of questions you'll come up with :)

sukipoet said...

soulbrush, I have yet to have the digital photo made into a real photo. It'll be a couple of days re: interview but it'll be coming. Left a note on yr blog re: Chewy. She writes-- back of my headboard a place to stick it--and is on my blogroll thing.

Starlene, what a great observation. I think I am a good observer and I learned via living here w/Mom this last year that she is/was too. I'm glad you see me in her and vice versa. Thanks.

OK Laurel. I'll be along with the questions soon. Emily carr is worth a look. I think her amazing. If you like to read artist's bio's I'd recommend hers too.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

This is interesting. Did YOU do your own review or is this done by someone else? I am confused. Which isnt unheard of for me. LOL

Karen said...

That picture of your mother has such wonderful energy to it! I'm going to have to look up the poet and writer that you mentioned...

Kim said...

Oh Suki, this is wonderful. I love the way you talk about the other parts of your life (different from the questions you answered in the interview we did together).

Okay, so here you go..."interview me"

You are a true inspiration to me!

Belle said...

I loved reading your answers! Your experiences with yoga are particularly inspiring. I just started doing yoga (haphazardly, unfortunately) late last year - it seems to be one of the first things that get cut when I am in a deadline crunch. But the main reason why I decided to start the practice of yoga (I did aikido before Dylan was born) was because I hoped (and still do!) to develop a practice similar to the spiritual and physical one you describe.

I think this is my nudge to start making it a priority.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Suki, Wonderful answers and the photo is a perfect choice. I have a link at my site so enjoy now the opportunity to interview your blogger friends!
Mary Ann

larkspur said...

Suki, I am so glad you had that conversation with your mother before she passed away....Your interview was touching. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us.

sukipoet said...

Cris, Blue Sky Dreaming thought up the five questions and emailed them to me. I then answered them and posted them.

Karen, thanks for stopping by. Both the poet and writer are quite interesting however you may not find a lot about Cora Sandel.

Kim, I will contact you with the questions maybe near the end of the week or weekend.

Belle, yoga is such an interesting discipline. Some people get truly obsessed with it. I dont think I'm obsessed but I do practice at home just about every day, something I didnt mention, and believe in it also as a mood changer.

sukipoet said...

thanks BSD. Thanks for the great questions. They challenged my brain, which has been sluggish and were fun to answer.

Larkspur, thanks for reading the answers!

Artist Unplugged said...

Sooo fascinating and insightful to a bit of who you are especially since I'm a new visitor here. Thank you for the interview...you do favor your mom.

~Babs said...

Really interesting,,,enjoyed it all.
I'm SO glad you got that GREAT photo of your Mom. The last good one I got of my Mom was about 2 years before she died. After that she was too sick,,,,wouldn't have wanted her picture taken, and we'd have hated remembering her that way.

Kim said...

Sweet Suki,

Do take your time!

kikipotamus said...

Wow, what a great interview! Yes, I would love for you to pose five interview questions to me.

sukipoet said...

Artist Unplugged, thanks for dropping by and reading my somewhat long winded answers! And for the note abt Mom.

Babs, I'm glad I got this photo too. I must quickly transfer it to paper as I could lose it if the computer goes whacky.

OK Kim. Feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment although not sure why. So I will go slow. Well, you understand that.

Kelly, ok. I'd love to do it.!

kj said...

suki, i enjoyed all of this interview but the most important thing i want to comment on is that your mother is beautiful in every way...

A rambling rose said...

Hello Suki - just wanted to say thanks for such an inspiring interview and to say you reminded me of Cora Sandal who I read many years ago and still have on my book shelf (I am going back to read the trilogy again)Her description of the cold I have never forgotten - I have just posted my interview with Mary Ann on my blog if you are interested
Oh and the photo of your Mum is so sensitive and beautiful!

Annie said...

Nice to know more about you! Love your photo of your mom too.

Paula said...

hugs today

soulbrush said...

i visited hb's blog yesterday and realised that she has stopped comments coming in (this can be done on the 'setups' part of the blog...so it seems she wants to talk to us, but doesn't want us to talk to her at the moment. i respect that, although i so badly wanted to leave a comment.

Claudia said...

Dear Suki,
thank you for sharing all this with us!-I, too, like very much the photo of your mother.
I find in interesting that you mentioned an norwegian author, Sandel. I never heard of her, but maybe I will read something from her in the future (I only read Sigrid Undset; for example "Jenny")
Kind regards from
Claudia

sukipoet said...

kj, thanks, Mom was a beautiful person for sure.

Hello A Rambling Rose. I will visit yr blog soon. Wow. So great to find someone who knows Cora Sandel. In Norway she is well know I believe, but not elsewhere.

Thanks Annie.

Hi Paula, hugs back at you.

Soulbrush, thanks for your reply re: hb's blog. I just wanted to make sure it wasnt me or my computer causing that. Or even that she wasnt aware that the blog comments thing was gone. But you are probably right about she just doesnt want input only output right now.

sukipoet said...

claudia, I have read Undset too. I love Norwegian writers. Sandel is well known in Norway I believe. Her novel is kind of sad though but beautifully written and imagined I think.

Kim said...

You know I understand, Suki. If you don't get to this for months I am fine with it. If you don't get to it at all, that is also fine. I guess I just think you would ask the most interesting questions!

Go Slow...it is the best way!

Lynette said...

Suki, I'm glad you got that wonderful photo of your Mom before she passed and the necklace you made her is so sweet. I'm missing my Mom too since she left us in July '07 and those photos are just priceless.

Into the Blystic said...

these are great questions! I especially liked the dinner guest one! So good to find out more about you! I seem to be on and off yoga... with the best of intentions to get back to it... but you know that road to... namaste Elis.

Honour said...

Suki what a delight to read your interview. I always enjoy reading your thoughts. I picked up a book in a garage sale called "A House of All Sorts" written by Emily Carr about her experiences of being a landlady. It was such a delight! I highly recommend it.

On another note, it sounds like lots of decisions ahead for you. I hope that openness continues to be your mantra in these times of discernment!

sukipoet said...

Lynette thanks. I'm sorry about your mom. I never realized how much I'd miss Mom till she was gone. The necklace came from Glitz art glass in New Zealand.

Thanks Elis. Well, I was on and off yoga for years till I took some Svaroopa yoga classes. Somehow it click with me and now I am able to practice almost every day at home which I was never able to do before. I think it is just a blessing that this style of yoga clicked with me like this.

Honor, I believe I read that Emily Carr novel. Many of the bks I got of hers were published in very small print so not sure I could read them anymore. I hope I can remain open too. Thanks for your kind wish for me.

m. heart said...

what a great interview suki. the millay colony sounds like a wonderful experience to have had. i'm going to look up the artists you mentioned as well...

sukipoet said...

M. Heart, you are rather near to the Millay colony I think or not too far anyway. It was heaven to be there on a gorgeous many acre piece of land in the middle of the woods with other artists, writers and composers. An honor too as there is an application process and the whole month is free. I went as a writer. be well, Suki

marianne said...

Goodmorning Suki!
I start where I stopped yesterday, your blog.
I really enjoyed this interview Suki!
I always finf out new interesting things about you and you always seem to be able to inspire me!
I wanted to try Yoga for years and now I wonder why I haven´t done it yet.........
Must find a good class here (my town is more like a village, we don´t have much here, besides the usual things...)
Took a peek at the site of Emily Carr, jee how much work she has done. I will look when I have more time.
Love to see the picture again and again it strikes me how beautiful your mom is! There is nothing in that picture that tells me her life was nearly over.... When I see my mom her life seems to be over while her body just goes on.
Thanks Suki for these wonderful answers and for the great interview you did with Soulbrush!

love >M<

sukipoet said...

Marianne, thanks for your thoughtful comments. You know, Mom's life seemed to be over any number of times through the years and then she rallied. However, at the time of this photo Mom was having daily heart pains which now I see fortold her imminent death as she had previously opted out of having a stint or something put into her heart. It is so hard to know. Many blessings to you and to your Mom and Dad.

Luisa Santos said...

lovely interview and blog, it's addictive to read your posts. please 'interview me', sounds as a very nice idea :) my email luisa_s@mail.pt

Juddie said...

Lovely! My first thought when I saw the pick of your mum was how much you look like her :-)
Thank you for sharing these thoughts ....

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