Tonight was the awards ceremony for the 2015 Kresge Fellowships. A lot of things were amazing.
First of all, and I cannot overstate the importance of this: I think my hair looked pretty okay. Secondly, I met my two main goals, of not tripping or crying onstage. Pretty much all gravy from there. I don’t totally remember what I said in my allotted 10 seconds, but people said they liked it.
Major shout-out to my +3 crew: Write-a-House champion Casey Rocheteau, Gabriel Hall visionary Dameon Gabriel, and Tsz Yan Ng (aka Tn), an artist who changes how I think about the world with her every work. I don’t like to brag, but I definitely had the tightest crew of plussies, we were prepared for whatever.
Mostly it was a blur. This is how people describe their wedding receptions, just a lot of love and hugs and shaking hands. I remember meeting Vince Carducci, who is about the nicest person. Look forward to trying to wrangle him into Breakfast with the Artist, as soon as I can. It’s great when you can catch one of us writers out in public…trying to create a meeting of minds between two introverts is always a challenge. I got to see a lot of previous Kresge Fellows who played a part in my arts writing over the last couple years: Lynne Avadenka, Susan Goethel Campbell, Jon Brumit, Chido Johnson, to name a few. Corrie Baldauf was there, and remains the highlight of every situation where I encounter her. I saw the inimitable Mary Fortuna dancing her ass off. I remember meeting Sharon Zimmerman, who is the first person ever to identify the Girl Scout pin hidden in one of my earrings. So you know she’s prepared.
I remember some little square chocolatey-cake things. I am pretty sure I ate ten of them.
Anyway, I’m sure I will have deeper thoughts and feelings when I’m not just completely overwhelmed with the moment. I wish my folks could have been there…I feel like being parents to an artist must be trying at times (bless them for surviving my teenage years and early twenties), and getting to share moments of realization and success is a nice kickback for the people who have more or less unflaggingly supported me in crazy dreams that included quitting a well-paying job to move to Detroit and be an artist or something. A lot of moves that amount to finding my way toward freedom from a system that has just never worked very well for me.
I can see I’m just at the start of something. I have a long road and a lot of work ahead. But tonight, just tonight, I’m going to let myself look at this golden envelope and feel like I’m free, today.