42 Maple Contemporary Art Center invited area schools to participate in the unique writing challenge offered with Craig Pursley’s body of work, “Pieces of Dreams”, featured art for the month of January 2015.
Lori Innes, English teacher from Profile School accepted the challenge, and brought her AP Languange and Composition class to the gallery to study Craig’s art, choose a painting, and write a story or poem in 500 words or less. Also in attendance, was Littleton Courier editor Darrin Wipperman. The exercise was featured in a local newspaper. Please check out our Press page to read more about the experience.
Below is one of the many stories generated by Profile high school students as a result of this experience.
Lowell sat on the cold dusty tile and pulled his legs close. Each scrawny arm a snake trying to strangle a prey too large. As his knees pressed harder into his chest he began to hear the notes. It was soft at first, but it grew into a castrophony of harmonies echoing in his small head. To escape his reality Lowell often dreamt of lands he had never visited, for his reality was one unpleasant. He imagined mountains bearing weathered faces, each crevice and cliff a wrinkle from smiling up at the sun; oceans of balloons rolling and crashing over each other in a rainbow chaos. His favorite place, however was that of the clarinet meadow.
When he first created this world, he thought of how the tall silhouettes came to be in that peaceful place. He dreamt that giants resting upon a comet once played the absurdly large wooden instruments, and as the comet flew above Earth and planets alike, divine melodies floated through the atmosphere bringing great peace to those who listened. As it got nearer to each village, more symphonies could be heard and the hum turned into a beautiful arrangement designed for the gods. The giants happily played their clarinets for centuries as they traveled throughout the galaxy.
One day a meteor hit the eldest giant on his massive hand whilst he played with his eyes closed to savor the melody. He wept, for his ability to play such lovely music was destroyed the moment it touched his weathered hand. As tribute to their elder, the rest of the giants vowed to never touch another clarinet. Instead of using their fingers to bring peace to the galaxy, they began to sing the songs they had played for centuries. In a low and rumbling harmony they sent their clarinets into space in unison. The giants’ voices carried the clarinets light years to their grave in a beautiful meadow, where they played while the giants drifted through the solar system.
Lowell curled his head into his knees and rocked back and forth to the rhythm of their song. The giants’ low voices countered the soft clarinets and Lowell drifted to the meadow itself. He saw the fluffy cotton ball clouds above the green trees, and the pond with each silhouette reflected upon its glass surface. Finally, in a world of his own, Lowell began to walk towards the closest clarinet and watched as its keys moved. The music became louder, it numbed his pain, both physical and emotional.
Once in the shadows of the green trees he uncovered his orange kayak from its leafy bed. Shaking the spiders from their temporary home he dragged it to the waters edge, sat on the black seat and pushed himself into the water. While floating he nodded off.
When he opened his eyes the white walls and fluorescent lights blinded him. A dark-haired nurse crossed the room, knelt with a smile on her face, and handed him a cup with three red pills.