The Other End of the Continuum
Some very sad, upsetting, angry-making, and depressing news sent from Chris Vitiello this morning:
Crosses Burned in Durham
Such a contrast between the events that occurred last night and the Carrboro Poetry Festival, alpha and omega as they say. I say "continuum" above though as an anticipated response to what some might say in response to this news along the lines of "back to reality."
I don't believe that this dispicable expression of ignorant racial hatred is any more "reality" than the Poetry Festival; these are ends on the continuum. The Festival demonstrated a remarkable number of realities about poetry, but most important, it demonstrated the reality that large groups of very different people who largely don't know one another can get together and share community, harmony, melody, cacophony, and support each other to achieve our individual best. Audience and poets all together.
The festival further demonstrated that creating this community has legs, the feelings and ideas will spread and continue to develop in other places far beyond the confines of Carrboro's Century Center (already participants are talking about setting up readings in their home towns, and ten people at least have contacted me about joining Lucipo.)
Even further, the festival shows that creating this sort of community and artistic experience takes a lot of effort and a lot of help.
But mostly it shows also that the effort is worth it, that the spirit expressed during the festival is not some fleeting thing from which we return to the gruesome drugdery of daily life.
The Poetry Festival and its audience and participants is as real as the acts of the ignorant people so rotted by hatred as to engage is such a senseless and despicable act as burning a cross.
We can live in one end of the continuum more than the other; with more events like the poetry festival, with a more conscious creation of community, we can demonstrate how to accomplish that.