The Artist Date is a dream-child of Julia Cameron. We’ve discussed her book, The Artist’s Way, and highly recommend both the book and the weekly date. It can be life-changing. It can open your creativity like nothing else. This week, we’re noticing hands.
At Southern Hops, the local beer brewery, I saw Morgan,
wearing green glasses. She was with her cousin from Oklahoma
on the porch. I hugged my friend and shook her cousin’s hand—
a first meeting.
Morgan’s brother held a guitar in his sturdy hands
and played songs he wrote for his toddler son.
His thick fingers were spry.
Another friend wore a Yoo-hoo shirt. I shook a can
at lunch and drank it. He stood behind me and massaged my shoulders.
He’d been massaged earlier that day, he bragged. “It felt better
Inside sat a bearded friend with a long, gray ponytail.
He plays guitar. I shook his hand instead of taking the hug.
That hand was bandaged two years ago
as a flesh-eating bacterium took its course.
I ordered Mexican Cake,
a stout beer that tastes like coffee and chocolate.
It felt cool in my hand.
Morgan’s family sat at a table by the bar.
I shook hands with her father.
Hugged her mother.
I shook hands with her uncle and her aunt—
a first meeting.
Morgan’s nephew held a lemon to his lips
as his mom held him.
Morgan’s brother grabbed his son, impressed with his resistance
and the fine motor-movements of his fingers.
On stage, a man whose day job is a professional clown
held a ukulele in his giant hands.
You could barely make out the melody unless he sang.
He asked for an assistant.
I resisted raising my hand
but he chose me anyway.
I set down my beer. I ran onstage.
During the chorus, I sang. During the bridge, I danced.
When he got to the bottom of the page,
I turned the sheet music with my hand.
The song ended. I bowed. My friend who massaged
me gave me a high-five so hard
my hand reddened.
Morgan’s dad noticed the violent slap,
and hoped my page-turning hand was okay.
The glass of beer was almost empty
and too warm for my hot hand.
”Sweet Vermouth on the rocks with a twist.”
I ordered Andie’s drink from Groundhog Day.
It arrived, cool in my hand.
I led a toast to world peace, and said a prayer
for them and me.
Photo by ginnerobot. Creative Commons via Flickr. Post by Robert McCready.
Browse more Artist Dates.
Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $5.99 — Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In June we’re exploring the theme Mirror, Mirror.
- How to Become a Better Writer: Blue Artist Date - October 4, 2013
- Artist Date: Hands - June 25, 2013
- Artist Date: Pink - May 14, 2013
L. L. Barkat says
what a fun Artist Date piece! 🙂
i love how you do these, Robert. Focusing in on one aspect of the experience.
I love this… it feels like a party – the comfort of reunion and the anticipation of meeting for the first time … it has everything in its hands.
Ann Kroeker says
I love that you leaped on stage and played with the ukelele-playing off-duty clown!