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.