Saturday, March 13, 2010

Split this Rock Finale

This day is a blur. I woke up incredibly early (7 is incredibly early to me on a regular day, but today, that meant like 3-4 hours of sleep. Who's counting?). Plus, it was raining.

First workshop. Write from the Source: Breath, Gesture, Word. Janet E. Aalfs lead this workshop, and as I told the class, I chose to attend precisely because I didn't know anything about the topic. It turned out to be sort of a writing workshop meets eastern/martial arts philosophy meets exercise in breathing and motion awareness. It was illuminating, and as someone mentioned at the end of the class, Janet's ability to make the class comfortable enough to freely try the large gestures and movements that we practiced is worth special mention. She noted that at one time in her life, before martial arts, she would have ran scared to think she'd have to speak in front of people. This was my story as well, so I'm glad that coupled with the workshop yesterday in which I performed, I was able to get behind me a few instances of my ability to, for just a moment, to completely forget my past inhibitions with the stage.

Problems happen, and the second workshop I was awaiting was canceled due to the instructor never showing up. I won't name any names, but yeah, that kinda sucked. But I moved to another workshop I had starred in my giant book of things to do, and ended up at a large panel about the Poet as a Historian. Martha Collins didn't even read her poetry, but it was so interesting a discussion on the history behind it that I was almost willing to buy her book sight unseen, and Kim Roberts' poetry has me hooked as well.

For the rest of the day, Regan and I power-sight-saw (see how tired I am?) and went to the Folger Shakespeare Library (I got to see a first folio up close and personal! It was a religious experience), the African Art branch of the Smithsonian, and.... the mall.

At the end of the night, I attended the last official literary event of the festival, a reading featuring poets Sinan Antoon, Chris Abani, Toni Asante Lightfoot (what a speaking voice!), and Martha Collins. And yes. I am definitely going to buy her book at some point. Not tonight. Ran out of money.

All in all, I greatly enjoyed Split This Rock. I attended more a lot of workshops that surprised and informed me in ways I'd never experienced. A lot of cross disciplinary things which I normally wouldn't have attended, but which I decided to give a try given the nature of the event and the suggestion of Co-Director Sarah Browning. Plus, I got to go to a ton of workshops even in the time between sight seeing. Which, by the way, was its own source of illumination. I never knew how little I knew about DC until I lived here for a few days.

I'm sure there's more to say, but perhaps in some kind of recap tomorrow. Because tonight? Nothing but sleep.

Well. After I write something, and then read.

But THEN. Sleep.

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