I've missed a couple of days--too much partying and reading and workshopping. Yesterday we went nearly en masse to Guernavaca to visit the Cortes Palacio (where there is a fabulous Diego Rivera mural, among other things) and the Robert Brady house, which is crammed with the fabulous artwork he collected during his life. The trip included fine Mexican food and drink, of course.
We have been spending mornings with Grace, sometimes joined by her husband Bob Nichols (who will be reading from his work tonigh at dinner), pulling chairs from the dining room out into the sunny garden, with the mountains looming. We sit in a circle--Grace likes to sit in the sun, since the mornings are a little cool, and we discuss the stories at hand. I was workshopped yesterday, a story that I have written and rewritten dozens of times. I wasn't too thrilled with the reaction of the group, but I had a conference with Grace today. She said she had reread the story last night and felt it was much closer to being done than she'd thought at first. I felt much better--she had some good suggestions for getting the rest of the way there.
She inscribed one of her books to me today (Just as I Thought): To Cliff, because the real and the imagined are what our work is always about, Grace Paley