Tuesday, September 16, 9:43 am
Night before last (the same day as my last post) three members of the Glaring Omissions plus one civilian friend came over after a great reading to help us pack. I’d invited them for “packing paintings, pizza, and expensive booze” (because we have many bottles of fine whiskeys and other such things and despite Bill’s wishes they just can’t all come with us). They sat around our dining table with boxes and packing tape and scissors and bubble wrap (replaced by old clothes and bedding when it ran out) and constituted themselves into a lean, mean packing machine, while Bill and I kept up a steady supply of items to be packed. By the end of the evening, there was an impressive stack of boxes on the porch, and all our fine breakables, as well as many of our dishes and other items had all been packed up, ready for the movers to transport into the container.
It was so nice of them, and it was interesting to see how a group of people who were accustomed to getting together on a regular basis to help each other in our work could so easily form into an efficient team when faced with a completely separate task. Something about how we all know each other, are well aware of each others’ quirks and preferences, personalities, and histories, and so we can just fall into easy collaboration without any preamble. At least that’s my guess.
It made me see one more time how much I’ll miss this group. The truth is, the Glaring Omissions is probably what I’ll miss most about not being here. I’ve been ashamed to admit this–it feels like some sort of personal failing. If I were a fully engaged person, wouldn’t I be missing some individual relationship the most? But this is what I’ll miss, this tight team of people who’ve gotten together once every three weeks or so (with a changing cast of characters) for more than twenty years, making each others’ work better, giving readings together, and sharing each others’ lives as well. I’ll miss all of that so much and it scares me not to have those regular, in-depth critiques of my work. (They’ve offered to keep critiquing me by email, which I’m definitely taking them up on, but a lot comes out in the course of discussion, so it won’t be the same.)
A fourth Omission, Jana Martin, is due here in about 90 minutes. I think I’ll aim her at the large pile of paintings I originally intended to set the other Omissions on. I’ve seen her efficiency. Those paintings don’t stand a chance.