AK 2010, Day 7: Why Here, Why Now

AK 2010, Day 7: Why Here, Why Now
[Rockwell Kent, “Twilight”]
When I told people I was going to Alaska to write, and in particular to Fairbanks to write about war, they naturally asked why I had to go so far to do this. KB is part of the plan—an entrusted writing friend and former wartime reporter with extensive experience interviewing refugees of Iraq and Afghanistan in camps throughout the Middle East. The other reason is best summed up by a quote I just discovered from Rockwell Kent, an early 2oth century American painter from New York, who spent 7 months in Alaska and gained a lifetime of inspiration.
From Rockwell Kent’s WILDERNESS:
“Always I have fought and worked and played with a fierce energy, and always as a man of flesh and blood and surging spirit. I have burned the candle at both ends and can only wonder that there has been left even a slender taper glow for art. And so this sojourn in the wilderness is in no sense an artist’s junket in search of picturesque material for brush or pencil, but the fight to freedom of a man who detests the petty quarrels and bitterness of the crowded world–the pilgrimage of a philosopher in quest of Happiness!…It is this that we are living for, and art is but the outward record of our progress…So here you have a sort of profession of faith. We are part and parcel the big plan of things. We are simply instruments recording in different measure our particular portion of the infinite. And what we absorb of it makes for character, and what we give forth, for expression.”
Things are going well. I’ve started 4 new short shorts, come very far on a full-length short story, and it looks like we might have backing from the Literacy Council of Alaska for our upcoming reading…
More soon!

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