Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cicada Tree People and Farewell Mary Anderson!





“Did you hear about one of the artists that stayed here who wrapped up people with tape to make a cicada shell and then he sliced them open in the back and they stepped out and there was this giant tape shell left over and then he went around the grounds here and put them up in random trees. He really was into trees too, besides cicadas. He said how his whole life since he was 8 years old, he’s always climbed one tree every day. Anyway, because he liked climbing trees so much he went around and put these cicada people shells in the trees years ago. There’s some still here. I saw one today.”





LaFonna is on her 3rd glass of wine and the stories are rolling. PP is loving this ‘event’—an author reading, full of the politics and poetry and art of George Ella Lyon, who was marvelous.(Check her out--kids books: My Friend the Starfinder; life after death woo woo!: Don't You Remember? are just a few of her titles) Then after the reading, everyone’s back at the Lotus House drinking and eating and smoking and telling stories.

“No, I didn’t hear about this!” PP exclaims, delighted. “Where’s this person-sized cicada?”
LaFonna takes another hearty gulp of wine, “Down by the lake" (PP thinks of course it's by the lake!). You know that tree that’s right over that metal dockee thing?”
“I think so.”
“Well, if you’re like me you never look up.... I know I don’t. But for some reason this morning I looked up and there he was. Just clinging to the tree. This giant taped shell of a person wrapped around the trunk waaay up high. Freaked me out! But fortunately I knew about this artist and how he did this a few years back so when I saw this giant bug person, I knew what it was."

"Sounds like the Pod People. You know invasion of the cicada snatchers!” PP jokes.




“But actually, it would be quite a transformative experience,” George Ella interrupts seriously, “I mean to step out of your shell and then look back at what you once were.”






“A bug!” LaFonna laughs as she pours herself another glass of wine.

“I’m gonna go look for it tomorrow on my walk around the lake,” PP announces. And she does.

The next morning she heads to the specified tree and looks up and sure enough is the shell of tape in the form of a human being wrapped around the trunk of the tree. It was a bit creepy. But in a good way. The brown taped form had held up pretty well for who knows how many years. And it had a good view of the lake the way its head was poking between two limbs of the big tree trunk.

Wonder if the Cicada Person has seen the Monk Ghost? PP muses.

Wonder if cicadas believe in ghosts?

Wonder if cicadas swim in lakes?

See how much valuable wondering happens on an artist's retreat? Good thing PP is going home soon, or she may just wonder off into artist lala land.

Which actually, come to think of it, wouldn't be half bad!





Yes. And so this is PP's last post from the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts. She's very sad to leave here...but she's written so much and has had so many fun stories--and a great audience for her blog! (Thanks to all you readers for your comments and insights about swimming and ghosts and snakes and Jesus? Did anyone comment on Him?)

So, PP is sure that you all want to know if she swam in the lake today this being her last day. No, and yes.

No, not literally. She just never got up the courage to defy Brother Bob. After all, He can walk on water!

But yes, in her imagination, she defied the hell out of him. Stole into the lake one golden crystal clear morning, dove in and swam out to the center of its loveliness where a sweet turtle popped his little head up and said, "Howdy"! The water was warm and welcoming and snake free in her imagination.

And frankly, after being here for 3 weeks, her imagination is a much better place to be than reality.

Any day. Any lake. Any story.

Adieu Mary Anderson Center and Thank you!

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