True friendships are those that hold through absence and long distance. Having the chance to meet up with my dear friend and poet, Susan Rich, last weekend, filled me with gladness as once again my husband and I took the ferry across Puget Sound to meet her in her home in Seattle.
It was time luxuriously shared with good food, discussion on favourite writers and the mystery that is this life of ours. In her house of sky we could see from her writing room red-tailed hawks and the snow on the Olympic Mountains. Spending those precious hours talking with her and her partner, Jeff, soon opened that squeaky door of creativity for me that is inclined to blow shut sometimes from all the storms of life and living.
We had breakfast in the Easy Street Café, food for the body and the soul with its collection of vinyls and CDs, and a menu that mirrors the music on the stands. Trying to decide between a Dolly Parton Stack or a Salad of John and Yoko, I finally settled on a Little Richard: Eggs, bacon and hash browns.
One of our traditions that we have built us since our first meeting in The Tyrone Guthrie Centre, many years ago is to find a place where we can do a reading for one another. We have read our poems on mountains, by rivers and in bell towers. This time it was on Alki Beach, as people walked by with their dogs or their cell phones while the sky was building to let go of more snow. I had the privilege of hearing some new poems from Susan and I read from An Urgency of Stars and The Other Side of Longing (both from Arlen House) which is the collaboration with my friend Lisa C. Taylor from Connecticut.
I was no sooner back on the ferry heading home but the pen was out, the pages of my notebook becoming gravid with new images, words that filled the sound of my imagination. Once again, sustained, enriched, ready to face a new story.