I meet with my friends for a salon once a month, over a smorgasbord of chocolate and red wine. We read a few poems (when make a point to leave time for it), but we spend most of our three hours together listening intently to each other’s stories, asking questions, eager to understand one another better, grateful for the opportunity to listen so carefully and know another person so intimately. We each take as long as we need to share our stories from the past month–maybe 15 minutes, maybe 45–to a rapt audience of caring friends. Can you remember the last time you had the freedom to talk about yourself and everything that’s been on your mind for 45 whole minutes, to people who honest to God wanted to hear it? (And weren’t being paid?) If you can remember it, then I am very glad for you.
To show my gratitude for these women, I dropped surprise poetry-grams in the mail this morning, beautiful vintage french prints on burlap. They’re unbelievably easy to make: only burlap, freezer paper, cardstock, and a very normal inkjet printer are required. You can find detailed instructions on SaltTree’s blog. You can also find a goldmine of vintage graphics over on The Graphics Fairy.
Do you remember still the falling stars
that like swift horses through the heavens raced
and suddenly leaped across the hurdles
of our wishes–do you recall? And we
did make so many! For there were countless numbers
of stars: each time we looked above we were
astounded by the swiftness of their daring play,
while in our hearts we felt safe and secure
watching these brilliant bodies disintegrate,
knowing somehow we had survived their fall.
-Rainer Maria Rilke