Welcome back, for those of you who haven’t given up on me. I am embarrassed to see my last post was November, 2016. A few surgeries and lengthy recoveries seized those eight months and, okay, I admit it—procrastination.
To resume the same theme, “Why Create?” for my blog, I looked back at my first post to refresh my memory. The following were in my comments, urging different women artists to contribute their stories.
Why do we write? Why do we paint? Why do we compose music?
Probably for as many different reasons as there are writers, painters,
sculptors, composers, etc. But yet, there are many of us who create
for similar reasons.
I feel certain you enjoyed and were inspired by reading the different artists’ statements as much as I.
At that time, never would I have thought of anything as unusual as a photographer whose passion is active volcanoes—anywhere and everywhere. As soon as her phone rings with the news of an active volcano, Meg Weston is planning her flight itinerary and packing her bag and camera. When I asked for one or two photographs, the beauty and the explosive spectacle immediately nailed the date in my mind for the post—July 4th, 2017. And what a celebratory way to reopen my blog.
I hope you agree.
The other morning as I was swimming in Lake Megunticook I was thinking about what I might say in this post. It was early, a little after six a.m., and a huddle of geese floated by in a circle. The mist rose off the water and a sliver of sunlight lit up the side of the mountain. As each arm stroked through the water, bubbles rose to the surface and my thoughts drifted to my mother. She taught me so much about the sense of curiosity and wonder that I have come to believe is the source of creativity. She earned a degree in chemistry from Barnard College, and later delighted in the tactile art of pottery, mixing glazes from chemical compounds, and centering herself and the clay on a kick wheel in the basement of our suburban home.
I discovered my love for volcanoes one day after school, when my mother showed me a photo spread in the National Geographic she was reading. I was mesmerized by the eruption of Surtsey off the coast of Iceland, and the tongue of red lava that flowed from the black mountain to lick at the edge of the sea and expand the island. The appearance of newly formed land where it never existed before seemed like magic to me. I swore that I would someday get to see that. It has been my passion ever since to read about, study, travel, photograph and write about volcanoes whenever I can.
My position at Maine Media allows me to be in the midst of creative people every day. Photographers, filmmakers, writers and book artists all finding inspiration from each other, from the natural landscape here in Maine, from a gifted teacher or mentor. I sometimes have to remind myself to find time for to that childlike sense of curiosity about the world around me – about the earth and its geological processes – and a sense of wonder that it exists at all – the beauty of it – and our ability to see it and sometimes capture a piece of it in a few words or an image. Reconnecting with the passions of childhood is a way that I try to continue my personal creative journey, while at the same time cultivating a place where so many others can find make that kind of connection for themselves.
Margaret A. (Meg) Weston has held the position as President of Maine Media Workshops + College since February, 2012. Prior to this, Meg served in various roles in business, media and education, including: President/CEO of the University of Southern Maine Foundation and VP of Advancement for USM, President of the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram, President/COO of the U.S. photofinishing operations of Konica Corporation, and President/CEO of an Israeli digital imaging start-up called PrintLife. In the community, Meg served two terms as a gubernatorial appointment to the University System Board of Trustees and was Chair of the Board for two years. Meg has an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University and combines her writing with a personal passion for photographing volcanoes around the world.
Her photography work has been showcased in the solo exhibits, “Lava Flows” at the Lyceum Gallery in 2012, and “Lavascapes” in 2008;” in group shows: “Atelier 2007” and the “Next Step” exhibit of alumni of JP Caponigro, as well as on her website, www.volcanoes.com. She presented poetry and images at the 2012 Belfast Poetry Festival on October 20, 2012, and offered a talk on “Igneous Inspirations” for the SAGE lecture series at USM’s Osher Lifelong Learning Center in the fall of 2015.
For more info, visit Meg's website https://www.mainemedia.edu/workshops/destinations/lake-myvatn-iceland-writing-retreat