Posts Tagged ‘starry night’

When Feeling Stuck

Sometimes I forget I’m surrounded
   by whirl, forget the earth’s turning,
     forget our galaxy’s spiraling nature.
   But it helps me today to remember myself
as swirl, from the whorl in my fingerprints
   to the curl in my hair to the twirl in my step
     as I move through the rooms of a house
       that somehow feels solid and stable. It helps
     to think of the day as a twist,
   an infinite trip on a mobius strip,
and suddenly stuck isn’t quite so stuck,
   and whatever in me is wedged
     isn’t quite so wedged, and I become more
       like a starry night, ethereal, dreamlike,
     as I start to recall the joy in the spinning,
   the freedom in the churning,
and I open again to a magic that invites me to play
   far beyond the frame.

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inspired by “The Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh and the piano composition by Kayleen Asbo by the same name

Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough.
―George Washington Carver

You teach us how to meet the night,
the quiet shadowed pools of night,
the night outside the glow of home,
the night beyond the sleep-warm bed.

You teach us how to fall in love with night,
the violet night, deep fields of night,
the swirling, churning curves of night,
the whirling, sweeping waves of night—

and oh the stars in their spiraling
you share their gold and pink and green,
a twinkling, a burst of shine,
a firmament in which to dream—

but there’s no way to see stars
if you don’t first befriend the dark.
You teach us how to love the dark,
the verdant, fertile wholesome dark.

Oh, to love what frightens us—
to meet dark with curiousness,
Though it’s mighty, tumultuous,
you teach us the dark is generous.

Vincent, you didn’t paint your asylum’s window bars.
You showed us only night. And stars.


My dear friend composer/pianist/historian Kayleen Asbo and I want to offer you the video recording of our hour-long conversation about Vincent Van Gogh, loss and The Art of Creative Collaboration– click here.This project has been such an important part for each of us in holding on to hope and beauty during a dark and challenging time. If it speaks to a part of your own aching soul and you want to share it, you have our blessing to forward it to whomever you wish.

If you want to offer a donation in support of our work so that we can professionally record our project in both audio and video format, click here for our Go Fund Me account. And we have an anonymous donor who will match all funds donated before July 30! 

If you want to engage in the full collaboration–Vincent’s paintings, Kayleen’s music, and my poems–I hope you will join us in “Love Letters to Vincent” on July 29, the day Vincent died, at 11 a.m. mountain time. We will present the entire collaboration, sending love letters back in time to honor this man who changed the way we see beauty. There will also be a chance to participate in a group creative activity, responding to his work, creating a giant love letter for Vincent. Sliding scale. It will be recorded and sent to all who register.

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