George returns from Colorado with “Indian Peaks”

George returns from Colorado with “Indian Peaks”
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Photos provided by George Cassidy Payne

Over the life of the magazine, we’ve enjoyed the prose and poetry of George Cassidy Payne.  We haven’t heard from him in a month or so as he took a hiatus from writing.  As George says, his hiatus ironically occurred before a scheduled trip to a summer writing program in Colorado.

At least for now, George is back with “Indian Peaks.” He also offers a reflection on writing.

Ironically, I decided to take a major step back from writing just as I set off to spend a week at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado at the school’s annual Summer Writing Program. Maybe it was the allure of the program’s description: “The co-rising and interconnectedness of the multiverse, safety net of community, labyrinth of communication and performance, and the curses and blessings of social media. The wilderness of the archive, decolonized mind, hive mind, wild mind, grids and mappings. Print shop, recording studio, meditation, and collaboration.” Or maybe it was just the seduction of the Rocky Mountains. Either way, I headed west with a vague idea about what I wanted to get out of my time at Naropa and an even vaguer notion about quitting writing all together. A part of me will always feel that writing is a necessity in my life, sort of like going to the bathroom, paying the electric bill, and saying I love you to my wife in the morning. Another part of me knows that whether I write or not makes absolutely no difference. The world will go on just as it did without me saying anything about it. People will go on doing what they want to whether I have an opinion or not.  With or without my dissent, the world will never be better than it is right now. I think it is healthy to be honest about how meaningless it is to write- to step away now and then to remind myself that what I think, say, and do is not important. It makes choosing to write again an act of humility and creativity rather than a demonstration of pretentiousness and aggrandizement. As poet Gary Snyder once said: The sum of a field’s forces [become] what we call very loosely the ‘spirit of the place.’ To know the spirit of a place is to realize that you are a part of a part and that the whole is made of parts, each of which in a whole. You start with the part you are whole in.”  George 2

Indian Peaks-page0001
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Says who you can’t get rich being a writer.

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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