It’s funny. I first started this blog, way back in 2005 (!!!!!!!!!!!), after attending a reading that really inspired me. Tonight I went to a reading that re-ignited that inspiration: a reading series in Sausalito called Why There Are Words. My friend Audrey was reading with 5 other writers. It had been a long day at work, I was supposed to do a bike-run workout, and Oakland and Sausalito are probably two of the most inconveniently located spots (from each other) in the Bay Area. There’s no easy way to get there from here.
But it was my FRIEND, whom I love (and love her writing as well). She doesn’t do readings that often and I really wanted to go. So I scrapped the workout (shhh! don’t tell my other blog!) and headed over a bridge to get there.
I used to have these other friends who called me “Susanito from Sausalito” and kept urging me to move there so I could have an address like that. Hahaha. It was cute. But I’ve always had a weird little affectionate place in my heart for that touristy little town. When I first moved to California, maybe the first week, my cousin took me to the no name bar. I remember the green, plant filled garden out in the back, the fact that it seemed like a secret, magical place with no name… I think I had my first Irish coffee there. Or something.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been in touch with that cousin (insert quiet, melancholic moment). But I was happy to be driving back to Sausalito to go to this reading.
Being there reminded me instantly why I love readings, and writers, and writing. It felt like it had been SO LONG. (it had). I used to go to readings all the time, like I go to workouts now. Sigh. But the good thing about being away from a thing that maybe you used to take for granted, is that when you come back it just seems all the more wonderful.
Everyone in the place seemed to feel that way. It’s a gorgeous, airy art gallery with art that just made me feel happy that there is such a thing as art. I sat next to some people and asked them if they knew any of the writers. They said no. And this blew me away! Because usually, the vast majority of audiences at readings are comprised of the writers’ friends (who are usually also writers). And not people who are just coming because they happen to… what? Love literature? Like actualy patrons of the arts? This also made me really happy and like, wow, the world is not such a bad place after all.
My friend Audrey read from a short story, “Retreat,” that happens to be set in a place that is so near and dear to my heart. I happen to be hosting a writing/art/movement retreat (!!) at that very place in just a few weeks. (notice to the five people who are still reading this blog – there are spots open, and some MAJOR scholarship/discounts available!) It was, without bias, the best thing read all night. The audience burst into laughter about every 30 seconds, and people were chuckling and chortling and making resonant sounds throughout the whole thing. Audrey read dramatically, dryly and hilariously. We loved it.
The whole evening made me feel so in love with words again, and stories, and writers. Several members of my own (long-neglected) writing group were there, and I was so happy to see them and have missed them so much. I have GOT to find a way to get back. I must. I must.
So: check out this fabulous reading series here, which was founded and coordinated by this wonderful writer here.
And: Check out the “Stories of the Body” writing retreat! It is going to be amazing and blissful. It is the place of my heart.
And go to a reading this month! Pick one out. I bet you can find one. Support a writer who has put his or her heart into those pages. It will do the world a lot of good. Then come back and tell us about it.