When I was young my parents gave great parties and I remember most of them. They purposely had fewer chairs than invited guests, a tactic to keep people moving from conversation to conversation and mingle. Sometimes these parties were "themed" and music was encouraged, people bringing guitars and on these occasions someone who could play the piano that sat against the living room wall was always invited. Sometimes food was the theme and my parents would prepare a gourmet seven course meal. My parents were not artists but had a tendency to "live that sort of life", certainly neither of them painted. I remember once my father got this notion to have a "painting party", not like a barn raising where you might paint a room but an occasion where one had the chance to express themselves on canvas! He borrowed
some of the "props" for this party. He had three easels set up in three areas of the house, each with a station of paints (oil at that!) and brushes with newspapers spread about to protect the floor. No one was told about this theme beforehand, in fact, it was a "cocktail party" and people were encouraged to wear their "best". Little black dresses were everywhere! None of these people were painters, not an artist amongst them, but boy did they have fun! There were no rules and no talent, at least no experienced talent and no attempt to "paint a picture", these were abstract in the extreme! Certainly no one person painted one painting, we all chipped in and added our "statement", incorporating what went before us, painted over and losing a work of art forever, or added to the effort of those before us. A lot of silliness and oh and ah's and even some appreciation and wonderment: "what did they mean by that?" Nothing, of course, it was all good fun.
So here is MY IDEA!!! Let's tell a story! "Let's" is my favorite word in the world! Let us. It
is an acknowledgement we are not alone and an encouragement to do something together. It is an admission that I can't do it by myself and want your help. "I" is my least favorite word for the very opposite reasons. It means I am alone. So, will you please come to my party, right here and right now? I will begin it simply with a couple paragraphs and your comments will be a continuation of the story. There are no rules, we can go back and forth in time and place, include more characters, sit in a corner and view what is going on, move about and get to know each other.
It was a dark and stormy night.... no, that one is taken, isn't it? I will begin it this way:
I saw the crime from the hospital window the day I was born. Now Love was dead and I had come into the world too late to save her, but only to hopelessly watch as she gasped for air, finally to be sucked into the undertow of a growing sea. I watched as men frantically tried in desperation to save her, but saw their bloody hands pull her apart and push her under, laughing in their hollowness inside. No one knew anything of the absence of love and continued about their business, carrying on as if she had never disappeared. Some held signs, a last effort in calling for love, but found only a shadow of her abstraction on the waters' edge, spreading as a thin oily film, trying and failing miserably to cover the surface......