I have found through experience, that if you follow your muse and work on the things you love, sometimes life lifts you up and carries you off to new lands and chance encounters never even dreamed of. That is what happened to me this summer. It all began when my book, When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky, became the inspiration for an author residency at the American School of Paris last May. I met my daughter, Ruby, in Paris and her expertise in dance and choreography enriched the residency with movement while I led creative writing and book-making activities. What a team!
|Ruby in Paris|
|In front of the Theatre Des Champs Elysees.|
|View from the Accademia bridge|
I spent ten days there walking, floating, photographing and soaking in all of the light, water, weather, sounds, smells and tastes that I could.
I met two friends from my past there and together we saw two operas at La Fenice, visited many museums and explored the islands in the Lagoon.
Ten days was not enough. I think I need to move to Venice for a year at least!
|Watery streets and gondolas|
|I found the most fantastic bookstore in Venice- books everywhere!|
Before returning to Minnesota, I stayed in London for a few days. I filled myself with art by visiting two museums a day, attending a performance of The Tempest at the Globe Theatre, and even visited Circus Space, an amazing circus school in the heart of London.
Upon returning to Minneapolis, I did not even have time to download my travel photos before returning to painting sets at Circus Juventas. I had Witch's castles to paint, and Emerald City towers, trees, gateways, magical caravans, and poppies too. There were volunteers to help me, but basically I painted Oz for two months, taking breaks to watch the rehearsals of these amazing young performers.
When the rehearsals turned into performances, there was no hint of a circus school or arena, instead it was the magical land of Oz with tornadoes and poppy fields, emerald cities and gorgeous performances. I ushered nearly every show just so I could see it from every angle. What those kids create with all of their hard work is truly magical.
And now it is fall-- or nearly there. My son has started his final year of high school and will soon begin classes at Circus Juventas again. My daughter is returning to Europe, via Iceland. My husband continues writing his novels. And I am returning to new stories, but that is another story.
|My favorite publisher and bookstore- Persephone Books!|
|painting the Wicked Witch's castle|
|Rehearsal and view of Oz partially covering the Witch's castle, and gateway.|
|Poppy Queen with Emerald City in background. (Dan Norman- photographer)|
|Triangle trapeze with a house- tornado. (Joey McEachron- photographer)|
|4 man high in Teeterboard- Emerald City (Dan Norman-photographer)|
|Cooper, my son as the Tin Man, on Cyr Wheel (Joey McEachron, photographer)|