Senin, 30 Juli 2012

Emily Dickinson Visits Mackinac Island

Last weekend I visited Mackinac Island and found Emily Dickinson! It was lovely timing: near perfect, because I didn't know Emily was going to be there and I was giddy to discover her presence.

Here's the news: On July 28, from 7 a.m - 7 p.m., many people representing several organizations collaborated to present a 12-hour reading on Mackinac Island of Emily Dickinson's 1,789 poems. As I understand it, The Emily Dickinson Museum organized much of this.  I stopped by the Little Stone Church in the afternoon, where someone read aloud to me.  Then I walked down to Mission Church, where (later) a reproduction of Emily's white dress would be on display for a candlelight reading. I arrived there before the dress, before the people who brought the dress, and before anyone else was there.

Mission church was built in 1829 by a flock of Presbyterians. It was quiet and cool when I stepped inside, and I sat for several minutes soaking up silence and old Presbyterian austerity. I was a little sorry to have that silence interrupted when a few people arrived to set up for the evening, but I was glad to have a chance to see the dress and the candles, and to have that brief preview of what a candlelight reading in Mission Church might be like. I was sorry I could not stay for the real event.

Here's a little corner in the front of the church. I suppose it's what we call a narthex today, but "narthex" has too much high-church in it for this simple meeting house.

It was hard to walk out of that church, away from the dress and the candles and the promise of poetry, but almost as soon as I stepped outside I saw this:

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