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Archive for January 10th, 2014

Every time I make the effort to go to Acadiana Wordlab on Saturday afternoon, I am not sorry. The group changes weekly. The presenter is someone different each week. Yet the process remains the same: prompt, write, share, repeat. This process usually works for me. Last week I did not know the presenter or more than half of the dozen people there. But I was inspired.

The presenter was not a writer, but a graphic artist, Denise Gallagher. She told us her story of becoming who she is today. She was happy in her job as a graphic designer but felt compelled to go back to her first love, drawing. She told us how she began a online challenge to draw an illustration once a week. Through the practice, she developed her skills and honored her own passion for art. Today, her work is shown in L.A. and New York. Her drawings are full of juxtapositions. You can see her work on her website: Denise Gallagher Design.

Denise did not tell us the stories of her images. She was interested in hearing our interpretations first. I wrote to an image she titled “Strength.” I was writing from a perspective of caring for someone with cancer. Denise’s mother died in 2010 from a brain tumor that first had taken her mother’s sight. I didn’t know this and was touched when my poem made her cry. We shared after the workshop, one of those amazing connections made through art and writing.

Strength by Denise Gallagher

Strength by Denise Gallagher

Strength

When the wolf came,
she was blind,
eyes covered,
a bandage
protecting her
from its bite.

Hair flowed like seaweed above her head.
Its paw, the wolf’s, held her down,
energy entered a major artery
to the heart, burdened
by invasion,
interruption,
a total turn of events.

Now, with wolf-blessing upon her,
she will find courage,
gather strength to fight the invasion.
Her blinder will be removed.
I’ll comb her hair away from her eyes.
I will look upon this enemy
with grace
and forgive.

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

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