SINDA NICHOLS: Have Suitcase Will Travel

Notes From Sinda

“The simple News that Nature told – “

posted August 24, 2012

Dear Emily,

Without a doubt what I have missed most, since leaving the midwest and moving south almost twenty years ago, is autumn and all the nostalgia wrapped up in it. September in Florida is still just plain hot. Well, if you pay very close attention you might feel a minuscule cooling. And September in North Carolina was pretty much the same – the only fall leaves I ever saw were paper cut outs on store windows. Being from the midwest, I could not stop looking for some bright oak or maple. Eventually, I realized autumn did come to the south, but you needed a microscope to locate it. So, I started to look for small changes, and noticed that the beach oats looked browner and dryer, the marsh grass had lost it’s summer green fluorescence. And then of course there is the pinnacle of fall in the south when the pecans make their entrance in November.

Growing up in Michigan, September meant starting school, closing windows, turning on the heat, marveling at the reds and oranges, and driving to the orchard for bags of apples. I remember the smells at the cider mill and the sounds of the marching band at cold high school football games with Dad. I remember scary Saturday swimming lessons followed by a lunch of Mom’s hot, tasty Goulash, while my wet hair stilled smelled of chlorine. See what I mean about nostalgia? To think about going back, not just to the midwest, but to the upper midwest in September – it’s something I’ve been dreaming about for quite a while.

Now, because of some very special people who believe in the arts and theatre and also think your story is amazing, I am not going to miss autumn this year! “Stop One” will be Theatre In The Woods located in lovely Shell Lake, Wisconsin. Years ago, when I was living in Minneapolis, I had the good fortune to be able to escape the city and spend time in the beautiful woods near Shell Lake. This whole area reminds me of a poem of yours that starts with the line, “I went to heaven, ’twas a small town.”

Confession time Emily – living on a small island in the south most of the year is very, very nice, but I really do miss the city life from time to time: walking city block after city block, going in and out of stores, people watching from coffee shops, perusing bookstores, marveling at old buildings that somehow escaped becoming parking lots. Fortunately, “Stop Two” will be Teatro Zuccone in Duluth, Minnesota – a perfect combination of nature, water, hills, and city. Many years ago, I almost had a nervous breakdown trying to drive a stick shift car up those hills through the snow. Somehow I managed – renting an automatic this trip.

Teatro Zuccone is part of an amazing organization, Zeitgeist Arts which has under one roof an arts cafe, a cinema with two screens and a theatre. Why leave – I want to move here! But that thing called winter . . . . . . . maybe, maybe we could convince them to come build a Zeitgeist Arts TWO on Amelia Island??

All right, I’m going to tear myself away from drooling over Duluth and get back to the “To Do List”, turn up the AC, and wipe away the August sweat. I’ll keep you posted as things evolve for the great “Autumn 2012 Upper Midwest Belle of Amherst Tour”. There’s many a poet, writer, artist and more that have been inspired by this serene and unique landscape.

As we say down south, most literally, “stay cool”, and thanks for listening.


PS Guess what? After the shows wrap – a week in the woods on a lake staring at the leaves. And maybe some Goulash. Mmmm

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