Certain times crave the type of airy warmth underneath the ribs that will rise up into a smile on the face. Poetry does this to me – it creeps in through my intellect and sitting in between my ears it starts to speak to my blood. It begins to travel and knows how to break up the tensions in my chest that I managed to accumulate in a day.
I’m writing about this sensation because lately I’ve been experiencing that old adage that all work and no play makes [Carrie] a dull girl. You know it’s bad when the security guard at Lincoln Center tries to cheer you up by pretending he doesn’t know where Alice Tully Hall is when he’s worked there 20 years (I believed him until he directed me to where to go – it did cheer me up)!
I bought a ticket to a reading of poems called Poetry and the Creative Mind and was able to sneak out of the unpredictably cold day into a sold out house at Lincoln Center to hear poetry and remind myself to smile… warm up! Purchasing my ticket had become an invitation to join a group of New Yorkers in hearing beautiful poetry and, additionally beautiful, to SUPPORT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS!
Best little secret of the night – Meryl Streep unexpectedly sang us a lullaby that her mother used to sing to her. What a special surprise. The room fell quiet to make space for the moments in the song and the molecules that Meryl moved. I started to notice that Alice Tully Hall is made well because it dips in the middle of the orchestra so that I didn’t have any obstruction in my vision of the stage. I also noticed that Meryl Streep is able to register all her emotion while maintaining a solid and supported voice in front of so many people – I’m dreaming of experiencing something like that one day!
The poems – the vessels that spoke the poems – it was great! Uzo Aduba echoing Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why) by Nikki Giovanni; Meg Ryan’s recital of Storm Ending; Amanda Palmer played the ukulele; James Lapine found one of my favorite poets Mark Strand and brought Eating Poetry to life; Maurice Hines brought Ain’t I Bad upon the suggestion of Maya Angelou herself; Sebastian Junger spoke Walt Whitman; Joey Reisberg shared his very own Schmaltz – I felt like I was in his grandmother’s kitchen; Langston Hughes was read by Cecile McLorin Salvant; Madhur Jaffrey and Wayne Brady shared their voices too. Last of all Meryl Streep cheered us up with Good Bones by Maggie Smith – reminding us that “Life is short” asking us all to bring ourselves into the room because:
This place could be beautiful, right? You could make this place beautiful.
I feel absolutely beautiful inside tonight thanks to this program, these artists and poets.
SAVE THE NEA!
I’ll be proudly toting my new pin: