As I wrote earlier this week over on my other blog, there will always come a time when you want to clear the garden and start over.

(This was one of Wallace Stevens’ metaphors for the creative soul: we organize as much of the universe as we can into our “garden”; creative souls look for portals out of the garden in order to organize more of the universe—and sometimes you have to raze the garden and start over, or even abandon the garden for new territory.)

When I was putting away all the burn stuff, my attention was drawn first to a collection of hoops made of PVC.

The hoops made me think of trying to turn them into an art project, or something, to get them out of the basement, and then they reminded me that they belonged to another set of tubs in the basement: all the other material we had gathered for our “cardboard-and-hot-glue” presentation of William Blake’s Inn back in 2007.


Five tubs of…


… hedgehogs, angels, turtles…

… all the brainstorming/timelines/ideas: bulletin board sheets, drawings, photos, notes…


… and Sunflowers and Blockheads.

Despite the optimism I displayed in the post linked above, things did not turn out as we had hoped. Twelve years later, all our stuff is still fresh and new, hidden in my basement.

And I have to ask: at this point, why? William Blake’s Inn is extremely unlikely ever to have a performance in my lifetime. [1] I do not need to hang on to these things, and both the space and the tubs could be repurposed for other uses.

I don’t know. The cold, sensible thing to do is to toss everything. But William Blake’s Inn is probably my proudest achievement, and my grief and guilt over not getting it produced before Nancy Willard’s death is still with me.

ABANDONMENT is very hard, sometimes harder even than MAKING THE THING THAT IS NOT.

[1] Now after my death is another thing: I have left instructions that my memorial service shall consist of, at the very least, a performance of WBI. So y’all have a choice: do it now while you can still thank me profusely for my gift, or live in everlasting regret. (That’s the way it plays out in my head, at any rate.)