Where does inspiration lie? Everywhere!

This is my attempt to pounce on and then shape the words I breathe.

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

A reflection on revisiting La Mama Ellen

Today at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads in Kerry's Play It Again Toads! one of the options is to repeat the Get Famous prompt for which I wrote the poem La Mama Ellen two years ago.  It's about international innovator Ellen Stewart of La MaMA Theatre Club in the East Village of NYC.  I reread that poem just now and find that I need make very few alterations to like it as much as ever and to publish it again. You can read it HERE.

The funny thing is that Ellen Stewart came up in a conversation last night when I explained to a friend that the most important personal progress I made in the last three decades was to recognize that my theatre work/art, feminism, and religion/faith were one and the samethat I find they are together now in my writing.  As we were talking, I realized that it was at La Mama that I lived the unity of the three that I was only able to dissect and understand a few years ago.  That, indeed, I had articulated itthough not in these exact words—on almost every page of my 500+ page dissertation.  When Mama Ellen had read it, she called me in Virginia to tell me that it would never get published.  She knew in 1989 what I would not learn until 1999.   I did not get tenure.  Now the event of leaving academia hardly matters to me. In fact it seems as right as the leading that took me to and through my PhD in the first place.  

Here I am.  Teaching at the college level and later in high school were both spiritual leadings that engaged me as completely as had every passion in my life.  I am a lucky person.  Writing is still the way that I think and examine, but it has taken the driver's seat rather than the back seat of the journey. I am writing about the link among spirit, politics and performance in a novel.  I have been limping along at it, often pushing it aside to write poetry instead. 

Today's revelations give that endeavor life. Today's thoughts resuscitate my passion for it.  I love the fresh air!


Sherry Blue Sky said...

What an awesome post, Susan. We all benefit from reading the work you share, so thank you!!!!!! What an amazing woman she was, and how lucky you were to cross paths. I love the exultant closing in this post!!!!

Sumana Roy said...

today when i wanted to read your poem @ RT i couldn't find it..'the page did not exist' came up..i was very much interested in this prompt Get Famous by FBlossom unearthed by Kerry @ Play It With Toads prompts today...and now strangely enough i've been able to read your poem vibrating with her touch...and this post is very interesting too...

Susan said...

So many exclamation points! Thank you, Sherry, for a genuine enthusiasm and love and generosity.

Susan said...

I had to re post it. Sorry for the confusion, but I am glad you found it. I sent the poem to LaMaMa a couple of years ago and they had it on their web page for a minute, quite an honor. I don't know if anyone I knew back in 1989-90 is still there. "Vibrating with her touch" is exactly right. Thank you, Sumana.