Ukraine at VCCA

The atrocities are continuing. It is horrifying. While here we are at VCCA. The juxtapositions are disorienting. There was a suggestion from a fellow fellow to get together one evening last week and share something about this war and being here. Below (photo and mini-essay) are my contributions.

Stream of consciousness on Ukraine at VCCA.

Sorrow and rage are two of the many emotions that overcome me (along with fear, disbelief, despair and…). Years of therapy have taught me that ignoring or denying these emotions does not usually help for very long. The high energy of rage leaves little room for the depth of sorrow, but there they are, both, together. Confusing. Exhausting. 

Of course, this is nothing compared to what the people on the ground are experiencing. What privilege I have of never experiencing a war zone or having to flee for my life. The Ukrainian response has been inspiring, heartbreaking and a model for us all. If you haven’t seen today’s Post article, “Music as Resistance” – a 25 minute concert in freezing weather – amazing! But the brutality continues. This is one of those situations where my empathy is not helpful, just debilitating. But what can we do? Here, in paradise at VCCA?

Donate if you are able, sure. If you can’t send money (and even if you can), send energy, good juju, reiki, prayers, meditation, whatever tradition you follow. Send the yellow bursting joy of those daffodils on our walk, the swooping delight of bluebirds and cardinals, the endlessly varying songs of mockingbirds, send all this possibility of spring – to yourself, to the world.

Try not to break down under the pressure, the fear, the anxiety. Solidarity in whatever fashion we practice, such as doing what we are doing here, right now.

This will help us to continue to practice our art, which is why we are here at VCCA. And to stop practicing our art – that is to let Putin win.

Onward in solidarity. Slava Ukraini! Glory to Ukraine!

I tried to take a photo of my favorite tree with the moon behind it, lying on the wet ground. I failed. So here above, instead, is the iconic VCCA night photo (thank you, Karen Bell for printing it for me). I’m sending the energy I get from looking at it to those who need it. Onward.

Sarah B. Dorsey

What a Wacky World!

Barn from the back road.

OK, maybe that is too flippant right now. But the world has turned upside down since the last time I posted here. Covid…and now Ukraine (and so many things in between). Including navigating lots of grief.

I am here, back at VCCA, in this different world…which, of course, has affected VCCA. Masks and covid tests (thank heavens I passed mine!). I am in writing paradise and full of gratitude that this is possible. On sabbatical (FFB) and getting work done on the biography. I have a deadline and I am going to meet it.

Here are some cloud photos I took today. Enjoy. More soon. I am determined to be a little more regular than three years (or so)…

These were moving pretty quickly.

VCCA 2019!!!

In heaven here at VCCA for much of June 2019. This is the best case scenario for moving forward with the book. Clearly I am way distracted when I’m not here as I don’t post on this blog. This will change as I get closer to a publication date. Don’t hold your breath just yet 😉

I was lucky that AFTER this last post I was able to go to the Third International Thornton Wilder Conference in Peterborough, NH in July of 2018. That was an exciting experience on a number of levels. I won’t go into it right now, because…VCCA. But I will create a post about this sometime in the near future. Not only was that the location of the conference, but it is where the MacDowell Colony is located – where Louise wrote a majority of her music. And we were able to go visit Wilder’s studio (thank you, David Macy) en masse which was moving (we went right by LT’s Phi Beta Studio in the bus). VCCA is my MacDowell. As mentioned elsewhere, Louise was here at VCCA three times, so I do feel a connection. This time two of the three composer studios have actual composers in them. I’ve been in two of them which was very cool – working in a space that Louise had probably composed.

But I digress. Focus is what I am able to accomplish at VCCA (in spite of my Sunday shenanigans here). Like the detail on this lovely flower, I am able to slow down and see details that will add up to make the next chapter interesting and as true a record of Louise’s life as I am able. Onward!

Honored and excited to present on Louise Talma and VCCA at Riverviews Artspace in Lynchburg, VA May 30, 7:30.

I am grateful and delighted to be here at VCCA for the month of May. Deep in book brain and it is delicious. I love that I get to give back to VCCA (and Louise and Riverviews) by sharing some of my work.

Here is a link to the Facebook event:

And once I figure out how to put the PDF of the flyer here, I will do so (geezer problems). Thanks to Kirsten McKinney (wonderful VCCA staff member), here it is: