Saturday, June 24, 2017

Separating from Star

"I have a nasty addiction to brake fluid.  But I can stop any time I want."

That was about the gist of the patter during the silent auction at StarArts week the other night.  When I think about it now, newly arrived home, that corny joke sweetens the bittersweetness of departure.

And we all left this morning.

 Joe, who led the morning stretching class, rode the ferry back to Portsmouth in style:

There was joie de vivre on the ferry back to reality. But the truth is, my week on Star started with a thud when a serious bout of sea sickness sent me to the doctor:

Thanks to a dose of Zofran, a dose of sea air, and a dose of scenery, I'd recovered by the middle of the next morning.

Speaking of scenery, this place has scenery the way Manhattan has traffic:

So many images to carry away!

 Like these :

  •  Joe leading the morning stretching on the porch of the big old Oceanic hotel:

  • The dining room.  I have to admit that every time I walked into that cacophonous space, I felt like the new kid on the first day of school, over and over, looking for a friendly place to sit.  The experience underscored the introvert in me.  Nevertheless, I ended up having many satisfying conversations with the folks at my table even if the initial plunge-in intimidated me.  If I go back to Star, maybe I'll see more familiar faces the more I visit.  That seems to be the way it works with a lot of the other attendees.  Friendships build up over the years.
In fact, this place has quite a following.  There's even a cheer which folks perform as the ferry arrives and as it departs, punctuated by the cry, "You will come back! You will come back! You will come back!"

  • My room:

It was a little bit Spartan, in its own Victorian way, but it had a water view, which is more than I can say for my bedroom at home.

  • The Sons of Poseidon. Where else in the world can you find a singing group called the Sons of Poseidon? That's Peter, on the left, who has a very interesting job in Riverside, California. He interviews actors to play patients for the purposes of medical school training.

  • Lady, who is a black lab, and her owner, Jean, who is blind from birth.  Lady celebrated a birthday during our week, and to celebrate, Jean let her off her harness.
 Lady gave me my dog fix, as I'd left my own two standard poodles at home. I don't just like dogs, I love dogs.
 I bonded with Jean over a discussion of Julia Ward Howe, who was married to the first director of the Perkins Institute for the Blind, the school that Jean attended from kindergarten through high school. I told Jean that according to a new biography by Elaine Showalter, Julia Ward Howe's husband, Samuel Gridley Howe, treated her with tyrannical condescension, for example, forcing her to undergo childbirth without anesthesia  mansplaining to her that "women need discipline: 'The pains of child birth are meant by a beneficent creator to be the means of leading them back to lives of temperance, exercise and reason.'" Jean was very interested to hear all that because the great man was revered at her school.  Take a look at that biography. Samuel Gridley Howe was in love with another man, and Julia Ward Howe wrote a novel about hermaphrodite behavior,

  • The poignancy of the cemetery:

  • The quality of my felting students' art:

I'll never forget the zest with which they created it.  My goodness, those ladies loved felting:

Our sessions only took place from 10 a.m. to noon, but so many of the students spent their off-hours in the classroom, felting away:

Others took their work out to the porch in the afternoon:

It's deeply gratifying to me to be able to share one of my favorite arts and foster a passion for it in others!

I might have taken better photos if I'd taken John Snell's photography class, but of course I couldn't because I was teaching my own class.  I did get to see some of John's work, though, and I want you to see how stunning it is:

  • Conversations.  So many of them.  With Kristin, Pat, Jean, Eileen, Kathy, Ruth Ann, Michele and others.

Shine on, Star!

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