By Sharon Lia Robinson
A collection of my creative work is in my archive in the Schlesinger Library on Women’s History, Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
I am very grateful for this archive, and that my writings have a home.
In this way, my work is remembered and people have access to it both now and after my passing.
My desire is that an archival location/museum will also be found for my visual Art.
This collection of art, poetry and writing includes photographic collaborations with photographer Steven R. Johnson (see Rubenesque Landscape on this website). In the mid-1980’s I began to collaborate with photographers to document my life, to preserve a record of my journey and to inspire others.
My Creative Writings Include:
- a collection of short stories and poems for children
- free verse poetry
- a collection of short stories (many of these short stories are about people outside the social mainstream)
- experimental theatre, essays and poetry on body image, (including pioneering dance notes on being a full-figured women)
- notes on being an art model (1978-1985)
- Esalen Journey (1986-1987)
- journal writings
- notes on creativity, healing and community
Some examples of this creative work are found elsewhere on this website.
Please contact me if you would like to know more about this material and if you have any comments. Some of it has been published, some as yet unpublished. Blessings. email@example.com
Here is one description from a collection of journals I have written during my lifetime.
Esalen Journey (A Journal of Emerging Spiritual Awareness)
Part 1, October 28, 1986-December 6, 1986 (about 56 pages)
Part 11, December 10-1986-March 5, 1987 (about 68 pages)
Esalen Massage Documentation (about 22 pages)
Introduction to the Journal:
In October, 1986 I moved from Somerville, Massachusetts to live and to study at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. This journal is a record of those four months in Big Sur. This two-part journal records my impressions of some of the people I met at Big Sur, and the insights and knowledge I received in my experience at Esalen. The journal also includes some of my poetry and dreams during those four months, my interactions with others, and my insights into body/mind and spirit.
I studied to be a massage therapist, taking a month long course. Then I stayed on as a work-scholar. I was assigned to housekeeping. My work was cleaning the hot tubs and the guest rooms, and working in the laundry. In exchange for this work and some financial payment to Esalen, I was in a program to take more seminars.
However, I spent most of my free time completing my thirty practice massages, to get my California State Massage Practitioner’s Certification.
Excerpts from Esalen Journey/Part 11:
December 10, 1986.
I am working here in the laundry
I bless the objects I work with
The sheets the furniture the desk
The baths which I clean
-breath into throat –
tension lifts from neck as sobs come to life – the child, alone – can only find love from objects –
she doesn’t want to be pushed, or rushed – she handles the objects with care
blessing the sheets
Thanking the stones
as she scrubs the baths
or the concrete floor of the shower
The sobs for the objects around her
when she was a child, lonely
in the children’s home
The sobs when
she spoke to the
objects around her
and they cared more for
her than the people she knew-
The housemothers, swim teachers
The dirty candy wrappers
the linen – I spoke with them as a child magician –
They gave me love –
I return the love to them now.
(End of entry for December 10,1986 of Esalen Journal).
(While at Esalen, I also gave a poetry/dance performance of my creative work, accompanied by conga drums.
I met Bill Light, who described himself as a new age Christian. He was visiting Esalen and he drove me to the Henry Miller Museum, at Emil White’s place. Here is another excerpt from Part 11 of the journal):
February 19, 1987.
Bill Light drove me to Emil White, an accomplished painter and old time friend of Henry Miller. Mr. White has the Henry Miller Memorabilia Museum in his home in Big Sur. His hands are shaking because he has Parkinson’s disease, as he reads my story, “The Homeopath” and then “The Casablanca.”
When we meet, he kisses my hand. I can see the sensual twinkle in his eyes. The silence in the room as he reads my words. The silence of nature and of God.
Emil White likes my work. He suggests I contact Grove Press and Ferlinghetti.
February 29, 1987.
I leave Esalen with the memory of our Work Scholar goodbye party – and of my last few days in the laundry.
“I trust that God is in me
I trust that my labor is holy
Out of this trust I live.” *
*An anonymous quote I saw on the wall in one of Esalen’s offices.
the fire of change
air of passage
the surging waterfall
the sadness, the strength
in each new connection.
(End of excerpts, Part 11, Esalen Journal).
Perhaps in the future this journal will be published. Please let me know if you would like to see a hard copy of all or some of the additional journal sections. I may request a donation to cover cost of copying and postage. firstname.lastname@example.org