Thank you to today’s 41 participants who joined us from around the United States and the world, including India, France, Portugal, Italy, the UK, Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands!
After introductions and a centering exercise, we shared an especially rich discussion of the 1985 painting Camas para Sueños (Beds for Dreams), by Carmen Lomas Garza, posted below. We entered into our discussion through the following questions, “How do you enter this painting? Where did your eye start, and where did it end?” Our eyes went many places: into the shadows, to the moon, among flowers, and to childhood. We thought about the frame of the window within the outer frame of the image as a whole, and we noticed how looking into someone’s window can feel voyeuristic. The artistic style evoked terms like “storybook” and “playful,” and we noticed the surprise of daffodils, which appear in early spring, beneath leafy trees of summer, lending a quality of magical realism. This sense was amplified by the way the daffodils and trees were both in bloom, and each item appeared in its ideal form — a full moon, showy flowers, full trees, the straight lines of the house. We also explored elements of dualism, including concealment/unconcealment, darkness/light, artificial light/natural light, and outdoors/indoors. And we talked about the quiet mood, a moment in time, true safety and security, confinement and expanse. Details such as a crucifix, an apron and daffodils inspired connections to symbolism of fertility, peace, hope and joy.
We wrote to the prompt, “Write about something that stays with you,” which evoked responses that often had a flavor of magical realism that echoed the painting we had just discussed. Specific details of the painting, such as the moon and the flora, appeared as elements in the writings. In one, they were woven into the narrator’s own story so that the narrator seemed to move in and out of the world of the painting. Some participants wrote about nostalgia, memory, childhood, family, and reaching across time and space through generations to loved ones. Another participant wrote about “liquid love,” a phrase that stood out to many of us for both its alliteration and its metaphorical possibilities.
Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.
Please join us for our next sessions: Friday, May 15th at 7pm EDT in English or Thursday May 14th at 18:00 CET in Polish, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.
We look forward to seeing you again soon!