Thankful Thursday: Writing at Menucha

It's Thankful Thursday, a weekly pause of appreciation. Because gratitude begets appreciation begets joy, I offer thanks.

This week I am thankful for Creative Arts Community. CAC offers residential art workshops at Menucha, a historic estate located 20 minutes east of Portland,  in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. 

With the good fortune of time and opportunity, I recently spent a week in the company of painters, potters, sculptures — and seven writers enrolled in a workshop led by poet Ann Staley.

"Refuge" was our theme, and Staley, a kind and generous instructor, led an intense dive into essays, poems, words and ideas. We were equal parts saturated and invigorated as our group was quickly knitted together in laughter, tears, wine and encouragement. With a focus on generating new work, we spent day and night reading and writing and writing and writing. Nestled among wooded trails and soft rolling grass, we were at play in an adult version of summer camp. 

After a week immersed in creative community, I am grateful to feel awash with words, and to swim again in possibility.

This poem (inspired by a line from workshop colleague Tom Tucker, in a phrase exchange) served as both prayer and praise — and is best read aloud:  

Make Alive Again the Magic of Art and Word 

An Invocation

Bring back the joy 

Make words easy, effortless

Let them float across the page


Let sadness cease 

as the vehicle for art 

Let art rise as a 

messenger of joy


Let the music of the day 

be heard

and called

and cooed


Let my steps be light

an invocation

a benediction

a psalm 

Let me hear again

Let me here

Make me

Wake me


Help me set aside 

tricks and cues

clever plays

tricks of phrase


Make alive again


placed together

strung along

passed and pleased


Make the magic 

rise and slip

sleight of hand

graceful steps


Let the mystery

of art   stutter


start again


like a child 

dressed in shoes too big

a wand in hand

Let the magic of art


fill every blank page 


- Drew Myron