I wrote a poem last October called “Petals” (it’s posted on this blog) which was an articulation of some things I have been wrestling with as an artist (worth, trade, dignity, and flowers). It was a lightning strike piece of work – one in which I realized I could create art that did exactly what I wanted, art that broke past the filter artists face between concept and execution.
That experience prompted me to do something I never thought I would do: apply to grad school for the second time in my life (I did that seven years ago, was accepted, uprooted my life and moved to Colorado, then had a depressive breakdown before my first major assignments were even due and moved home). I have debt that is impossible – so impossible it has made me wonder about suicide and whether or not killing myself would be worth the mess of pain I left behind. The answer to that was always no, by the way…and even if I had fewer to no people in my life to hurt by killing myself, I would be cutting short the crystal blue sky that shows up some days and the laughter and flowers that show up some days too.
I digress. The point of saying all that was just that taking out any more loans to try grad school again seemed pretty stupid.
But the Creative Writing and Environment program is fully funded, so I decided it was worth the cost of a GRE test (actually, my dad paid for that) and application fee to give it a gamble…and I got in! Which has brought me here, at the latter end of my first semester, which has been both beautiful and extremely challenging.
Between the acceptance in March and the start of classes in August, I took pictures of sunflowers when I saw them in honor of the poem I wrote that changed my life.