"Sometimes melancholy, longing, pain, or sadness can be a journey to something else. They can be a part of an inner mourning process that helps you leave a part of your life behind so that you can go on to the next phase." --Anna Deveare Smith, Letters to a Young Artist
today i received the mock-up of the headstone for Nella Larsen. it seems that the cemetery has given the okay for her name to appear as Nella Larsen and not Nella Imes. i will hold onto the papers for a couple of days. it feels like such an immensely important thing to do--i suddenly wonder whether it is right for ME to do it. but, i admit, i do think of her as my Nella--and so in that way--who else would be more suited than me?
Writing always means hiding something in such a way that it then is discovered. Italo Calvino
I am in the middle of collecting notes on my manuscript and about to settle in with these words again for a revision. I've hidden things in the writing even from myself--I'm looking for the open window in my work.
What must she have seen? The same things? The same kinds of faces? The Hotel Avenida Palace near the Praca Restaudores was beautiful. I sat in the lobby yesterday and imagined her there: enjoying a glass of vinho verde or porto --imagining the stories she would write. Like I did.
According to the rules of the cemetery, Nella Larsen's headstone must bear the name under which she was buried: Nella Imes. I am hoping that the cemetery will allow the addition of the name Larsen. Nella Larsen Imes: that would be a good result. But Nella Imes? Is that what she would have wanted?
i feel like i should keep this a secret for some reason -- though i don't know the reason. but i am just incredibly excited. so . . . shhhhh . . . but, . . . i ordered nella's headstone today -- she will forever be found.
my character, rachel, has a way of dealing with all of the uncomfortable feelings she has. she has a blue glass bottle with a cork stopper. all the feelings she doesn't understand plus mad go in there. what's in your blue bottle?
a few years ago, i performed in an ensemble show about biracial/bicultural identity called hybrideyes. the show, developed through improvisation, was a fun look at the common threads of experience we all had. i think it's time for a new show that addresses the same issues--but maybe in a deeper, more complicated way. anyone in?