Friday, March 15, 2013

How I met and why I meet Stacy C

Several years ago--and I guess I could dig up the original emails to find the exact date--I heard from Chicana writer/novelist/poeta Sandra Cisneros, asking if I would be interested in or willing to take some time to meet and possibly mentor a north Texas friend and young(er) writer.  This person, Stacy C, a high school teacher who works with "spec" (she pronounces it like "speck") kids and also writes poetry, is the daughter (well, actually, one of several) of a teacher friend of Sandra.  This teacher friend was a huge fan and became quite close friends with Sandra, even visiting her at her casita morada (purple) in San Antonio.  Unfortunately and sadly, Mama Campbell passed away about 10 years ago, and daughter Stacy has been challenging herself to draft and polish countless unfinished poems in the memory of and to honor her dear mother.

Sandra herself didn't have time to mentor Stacy, but she recommended me because I live in north Texas and she believed me to have the sensitivity and nurturing willingness to meet w/ Stacy.  Well, it did work out: I contacted Stacy, she seemed receptive, and we occasioned to schedule de vez en cuando (now and again) lunch/brunch meetings at local restaurants within bicycling distance of my home.  This became a cherished tradition, where we would get together at least seasonally, bringing backpacks of fotos, recuerdos, books, and ideas to share with one another at a table (public, mind you) over which we laughed, dined, drank, and cried.  It got to be that we couldn't show up empty-handed; we needed ephemera and documents, framed images and poem copies to show and tell about.  And now, even though the sped-up nature of time in the second decade of the 21st century has kept us from meeting more than once or twice a year, it becomes even more imperative, even urgent to bring the right things, the palpable proof of the life we've lived since our previous sharing session.

It had been over a year since our last meeting, and Stacy and I didn't dare put it off any longer, so we met at Rodeo Goat ("because it sounds like a fun place," she'd written as we mulled over a location to convene) this past Wednesday.  I stuffed a  Texas Beat Festival t-shirt, bag of chocolate mint leaves (thank you, Kelley), and a few other small gifts in my new messenger bag and pedaled over to meet Stacy.  Once we embraced and took our place at the backlot picnic table and placed our order, we immediately launched into chat about writing and music and ideas and future and current projects.  We exchanged our gifts and shared our minds.  This time, I didn't get to read any of her latest poetry pieces in progress.  She's on a hiatus from writing, but misses it desperately, as we all do when life interrupts with its myriad requests, demands, tantrums.  I tried to reassure her that the light in her room of writing will turn back on again.  And I felt my words resonating internally in consideration of my own stumbling blocks, writing blocks, boxing matches with procrastination.  I hope to benefit from the advice I offer others by applying it to my self.  Ultimately, all it takes is applying thoughtful pressure to the keys, one letter at a time.  Like t-h-i-s.