Sunday, June 13, 2010
Returning - but with sadness in my heart
As I get ready for another conference in Taos I can't help but remember the week I spent getting to know Barbara Robinette Moss last year. I was a member of Barbara's last class. Her husband Duane has asked us each to write about Barbara, about the impressions she left on us. I haven't done it yet. My impressions of that week are still being formed. One of the sharpest images is Barbara sitting across from me playing with the sausage biscuit Duane had brought her. "He's trying to fatten me up. He wants me to hit 100 pounds." We began the week as strangers and by the end of the week we were family. Barbara didn't hold anything back. We followed her lead and poured our hearts out to each other. There was some first class teaching done in that workshop and she pulled writing out of me that I hadn't known was there. I'm sure that was true of all of us. I have continued working on the memoir I began that week. It has taken me in directions I didn't expect - directions I didn't like - but when I've felt lost or discouraged Barbara's voice has pulled me back. Next month I will bring the almost finished memoir back to Taos and I'll continue working on it in Dorothy Allison's workshop. My fondest wish would be to walk into the workshop and find myself with Melanie, Sheila, Robin, Jenna, Lucy, Andrea, Joelle, Briarly, Nan and Quentin. I know Barbara will be there.