“WAVES: AROHO Retreat 2015” by Kristi Crutchfield Cox
That summer, turning forty and evaluating my choices in life, roads taken through Oklahoma, the grey slickness, red crumbling, swelling clay churned in fields, sticking to me, claiming me.
I was supposed to live in New York, sidetracked by farms and families, frustrations and illness. Paths changed.
Maxine arrived in an email, I held her face in my hands, she stared off past the insecurities and uncertainty of beginning.
Real writers apply to this kind of thing.
“The henchman didn’t let you in,” a voice whispers, reminding me of the conference I attended, locked out of a room.
“They won’t let you in, you’re too…” a dark-haired fairy educated me on the nuances of academia and entrances into guarded rooms.
I debated. Three days to deadline, a decision made; locked in a room; drinking wine, creating an art project and workshop.
I’m not an artist.
An email, “Congratulations.”
Oh my god, what are they thinking? Oh shit.
Weekends spent with my mother, waves flowed towards our lives. Women arrived, drawn to rivers of conversations, reclaimed selves narrated their experiences, snuffed dreams, rekindled. A young rodeo rider joined us, aggressively smeared and pressed desert hues into thick grooves. Shifting to raging rivers and oceans, swirling terrain hues landscaped rocky cliffs.
She spoke with frustration, “I read where no one bugs me, the boys make fun of it,” her fingers wiped and dipped, splashing larger blends of colors across her canvas.
I read on the floor of Walden’s Books, wore library cards out.
My mother confessed, “I am losing my eyesight,” as she etched the outline of frothing foam atop cresting swells, smearing darkened blues into sea foam murkiness.
Thank you, Momma, for helping me.
Porch sitting till moonlight reached for dawn. Lavender scented laughter. Tarot cards turned, strengths of kinships on mountain tops, paths lost beneath a thousand stars.
Misogyny said hello, his bright orange handprint topped our monument.
We gathered, swirling our power into paints, kaleidoscope muse, each claimed her rebellion, against her own tale of angst, delighted sparkle of closure.
Bunny called the storm.
French parasol elegance walked past butterfly bushes. Tattooed, tree pose yogi dancing amidst haiku mobiles. Carved skin of written words, scrivener of scars. Spoken word SLAM, rattling your soul with her soft-spoken megaphone. Multi-faceted wordsmiths of beauty. Wine and water satiated parched tongues, as times of suppressed voices shared by those who walked the front lines, reaching back, they bring forward awareness, unforsaken. Goddess infused blessing, walking labyrinths in the rain, sitting along a wall, invited to accept self. Scotch and laughter, exhaustion stole my words, waving goodbye.
Arriving home, renovating and rebuilding foundations.
Each claiming A Room Of Her Own.
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Kristi Crutchfield Cox Artist Statement:
Kristi Crutchfield Cox lives In Southern Oklahoma, where she pursues a writer’s dream while managing a
busy house of two attachment disorder- afflicted dogs, and enjoys hermit time with her husband.
Currently, she is completing her novel, The Tattoo’s Artist, exploring resurrection of self through ink,
war, and feminine strengths. She was recently published for her poetry in, Filling The Void; A Selection of
Humanist and Atheist Poetry, edited by Jonathon Pierce. Currently, she writes a hometown blog for The
Ardmoreite entitled, Adventures in My Hometown. Recently, while setting up five large canvas boards,
depicting waves and canyon walls, she reflected on the year of marginalized voices and conversations of
soul searching resonance, of wandering lost on mountain tops, and twirling round labyrinths with
legends. She recalled wine shared, Polaroids snapped by gypsy souls, and the power one finds in rooms
of their own.