Thursday, January 2, 2014

THE HUCKLEBERRY EXPLORER'S CLUB


STEFANY AND MORGAN GAVE ME THIS PHOTO, FRAMED,
AS A CHRISTMAS PRESENT:
LEAF IMPRINT ON SIDEWALK
TAKEN BY STEFANY IN DOYLESTOWN, PA ON OCTOBER 13, 2013
One of the highlights of my holiday was getting to meet Morgan Meis and Stefany Anne Golberg, writers both, and both of whom I've featured [see links]. 

Having corresponded briefly over the last couple of years via email, we met in the flesh at the Casbah Cafe last Saturday early eve. I learned that Morgan and Stefany, who are married, had an arts collective, the Flux Factory, in NY for years. They then spent time in Antwerp and Sri Lanka (among other places) and now live in a "bunker" (their description) in Schwenksville, PA

I also learned that Morgan had won the Whiting Award for his (excellent) book, Ruins, which according to him his father basically xeroxed in the basement.  Here's a recent essay of his that also blew me away: "Visits from Christmas Past," about the "monstrosity of Christ" (he's a convert). 

They'd been in town visiting family and returned home shortly after our visit.

Tuesday I received this e-mail from Stefany. The writing and the photo were so beautiful, I asked if I could share: 

"Below is today's word and photo entry to the Huckleberry Explorer's Club, which is my ongoing life's project. Gives you a sense of what we're dealing with here in the Northeast.

Schwenksville, Pennsylvania
December 31, 2013

"The last day’s ground is hard and cold all the way to its soul. It has stilled itself and silenced its heart and said goodbye to the year. There is no more rustle of leaf transformation, no spacious crunch of snow. The squeak from a chickadee disappears just as it hits the air. Beneath my feet the frozen ground squeezed itself so tight that it shot up in ice castles across the field. Tiny time capsules of the imponderable season, a billion accidental palaces of dirt ascending, and this one I took in my hand to celebrate the day."


Isn't that fantastic!

I was intrigued by the idea of the Huckleberry Explorer's Club and wrote Stefany back asking who else, if anyone, belonged.

She replied:

"The Huckleberry Explorer's Club is just me -- though I did make Morgan the head librarian, so he could be included. I have written many entries and have many photos and I also collect and make things. This is the mission statement:

The Huckleberry Explorer’s Club houses the recollections and stuff from Huckleberry Club explorations.

The Huckleberry Explorer’s Club produces the series The Wonderful World of Stefany Anne Golberg.

The Huckleberry Explorer’s Club is never complete. The mission of The Huckleberry Club is to grow.

'The Wonderful World of Stefany Anne Golberg' is my short film series. You can see the films here (working on a Sri Lanka one but it is taking forever...). Only Poland has the opening credits attached so far.

Poland: https://vimeo.com/20544864
Antwerp: https://vimeo.com/68077600
Carnival in Antwerp: https://vimeo.com/19845578
Las Vegas (my first ever film): https://vimeo.com/21311101

I have had a number of moves toward making the Huckleberry Club public over the last few years (including making a website) but so far it is a private venture. Maybe in 2014! In any case, you will be making it public today I guess, so thank you for that."

FRONT YARD
ATWATER VILLAGE, LOS ANGELES
THE HIGH WAS 72 TODAY

2 comments:

  1. It is fantastic. It's poetry. I was listening to some Classical music, which I love, while reading but I turned it off so I could hear the music in that paragraph.

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  2. Just read the Morgan Meis piece you linked. His terrifying Jesus and the implication/repercussion of same put me immediately in mind of a quote of Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber as heard the CBC broadcast, Tapestry; "The Gospel is the worst good news, ever."

    And Meir: "I’m not sure, though, that I was completely wrong to write that opening sentence in 2007. The fact that Jesus Christ was an “influential historical figure” is a simple truism. “Terrifying” is the more troubling word. What did I mean by that? It is, in retrospect, a strange word for an atheist to use. Why would I have been terrified of Christ? I meant it with a certain amount of tongue in a certain amount of cheek, of course. I meant it, even, as a sort of insult, though a respectful sort of insult. I meant that there is something absurdly and unbelievably demanding about Christ. I meant something stronger too. I meant that if a person were to do something foolish like pay attention to Jesus Christ, take him at his word, then it would have significant consequences. It would turn your world upside down. I was right to be terrified of that. I didn’t want my world turned upside down, because I thought I had it right side up. But then my world was upended. I don’t stand on the same ground I used to stand upon. For me, it is constantly strange to be a Christian, constantly discomforting, constantly ass kicking. “You shall know the truth,” wrote Flannery O’Connor, “and the truth shall make you odd.”"

    And Meir quotes Frederick Buechner. He's right to say Buechner isn't read much these days and that's too bad because Buechner had good grasp of the complete humour of the terrifying Jesus of the worst good news ever.

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