In parochial grade school, circa 1967, Sister Margaret in her flowing black habit and veil, escorted my classmates and I every weekday to St. Mary Catholic Church in Kenosha to hear from Scripture and to sing hymns of our faith.
Call Me DJ Jazzy Johnny. My younger self could make a pretty cool mixtape, first on cassette and later on CD. I never played them in clubs – I cannot stay up past ten o’clock, and I hate crowds, even in pre-COVID times. Nowadays, I prefer to mix things up on paper or canvas instead.
Author and pigeon-fancier Julia Cameron nearly ruined my life. Almost 30 years ago, I delved into Cameron’s self-help book, The Artist’s Way, following her instructions of writing several pages every morning until I had filled enough notebooks to make my home a fire hazard
In the summer of ’94, I spent a week at a folk school in Door County, WI where on one morning I sat on a slab of limestone to contemplate a garden of wildflowers, while fellow students walked a nearby sawdust path through the woods to our classroom. One student, a woman named Rose, who was as old as the years accumulated thus far in that 20th century, paused in her parade to question me. “Are you a person?” she asked.
Where do you live? You might reside in the town where you were born or you may have moved around so much you’re not sure where you are anymore. You might have found a connection with a place in your travels that’s so strong it feels like home to you. If you’re a writer, artist, or a professional daydreamer, you probably live most of the time in your imagination.
How often do you think about Donald Duck? Until recently, the Disney character didn’t occupy much of my grey matter. When my daughter was small, she’d roar when I would gargle a rough imitation of Donald’s exasperated, unintelligible, spit-flying, duck-speak. That was a long time ago, though.
My friend, composer Karel Suchy, calls it KeRacine, pronouncing the word, in his cool Czech accent, like you’d say, “ker-o-sene.” With this term, he’s referring to the Wisconsin cities of Kenosha and Racine, but it’s more than a mashup of names for him. He’s talking about a powerful energy, fueled by the the creative culture that burns bright here.
I’m convinced I was a border collie in another life. While I lack some attributes of this breed – agility, high energy, and intelligence – I share a common instinct for herding. Dogs may do it for the purpose of providing protection; I do it when I dream up projects and need people to turn them into reality.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Except for a brief period as a young teen when I wanted to race stock cars (despite hating to work with my Dad on the family auto), I loved to write stories and draw pictures.
by Kelsey Marie Harris Yesterday was probably one of the most joyous days of 2020 for a lot of people. It signified hope that things might finally shift in the right direction in this country. And while it was fun to toast and laugh together over memes, for me the moment was fleeting. Satisfaction can…