I have been back from Colorado and Utah for a couple of days now, and things are starting to settle and take form. As much fun as I had traveling and looking for cool locations, I learned how much the Piney Woods informs my work. I've begun to question my need for going too far out of the area.
As enthralled as I am by mountains and open landscape, I also feel like their magic is easily accessible. Maybe this isn't a bad thing, but what gets me passionate about the environments in my work is their underappreciated majesty. Everyone is so dismissive of East Texas' tangled vegetation and obscured skies. Even Jack Kerouac was quick to dismiss the area as a "riddle of the night we couldn't solve."
And for all my frustrations with East Texas, I feel somewhat upset when I meet/observe the diaspora and hear round dismissals of how impossible it is to be creative or happy around here. For every Keith Carter who finds beauty and magic in these rural settings, there are three or four who focus on the oppressive forces felt by so many natives.
I'm not trying to find "beauty in the hideous," I'm saying there's more there for those who seek. I'm saying one doesn't need mountains, big cities or endless entertainment choices. I'm saying there's a spirit in the woods, a force that pulses next to the malevolence and darkness. I won't say it's not scary, or even if it's good. But it's magic and it makes me want to know more.
Other accomplishments include:
• Several photos taken. Several more planned.
• Visited Denver Art Museum.
• Discussions with skilled and experienced practitioners of theatre and dance.
• Intense study of books, narrowing them down for bibliography. LOTS of great stuff.