Maid’s Day Off

I’ve been enjoying a correspondence with a Vineyard poet this winter.
Over one thread of emailed conversation I was curious
about how the creative processes of writing and painting
may overlap and we got onto the subject of serendipity.

I Wrote, “I was wondering if that happens with your poems too,
that you wander in with a clear direction
and come out through an unexpected window instead of the back door.”

She responded, “ Most definitely.
Especially when I’m experimenting with structure,
because the need to, say, rhyme,
or get something in the proper meter,
will cause me to use other words than I might have ordinarily.”

I continued, “It’s happening with the current painting.
Started with a vintage waitress or maid’s uniform
which was hanging on a dress form in the corner of the studio kitchen.
As I moved it around to find the best light
it found itself next to an old pair of nanny shoes,
and I knocked the old telephone off its hook
and then the teacups got moved around
because I didn’t want to fuss over the intricately patterned ones
and then it needed more color so the yellow chair pulled itself up and before I knew it
the straw hat and the red stilettos and the picnic basket were enlisted and now it has a new title…

The Maid’s Day Off.”

Eventually she expects to get rid of the structure as a mentor suggests, and “keep the unplanned things.”
I’ve been following down that path as well. Trying, creatively speaking, to just to get out of my own way.
I know when, on one of our next visits, we have a chance to meet in person,
there will be many more unexpected windows opened.