Thomas Fink and his wife Molly Mason spent some time with me in Oberlin, Ohio yesterday.
The three of us started out in the Allen Art Museum. Tom ( in addition to being a poet, critic, guitarist and budding bel canto singer) is a painter. Molly is a professional sculptor.
I loved wandering from painting to painting—to sculpture—to ceremonial mask—to performance document with these two. The conversation was great, spiked with anecdote and passion. I love this couple.
I particularly loved how Molly could look at a passage in a painting and break it down materially—that beautiful gold in the drapery of that renaissance dress is this and that color, but look how it has been transformed. The appreciation and honoring of detail!
Only one discordant moment in the museum. We spent a long time thinking out loud about an African fertility mask. Our hands were waving close to the extraordinary object. We were speculating about how it would be worn and about how it was made. A security guard approached us, gently, and asked us what we were doing.
We explained. Molly thanked him for not beating us up!
Later Tom and I separated off from Molly (with her consent) to lunch and talk about divers things.
Our late lunch was at an Asian fusion place. I had a great pho and Tom had an Asian inspired salad.
Our conversation was about writing, poetry friends, and guitar techniques. Tom has been playing guitar since 1968 and he drew some fret board diagrams for me that I’m hoping penetrate this noggin and playing fingers.
I always feel better after an encounter with Thomas Fink. He’s a positive force in the universe I inhabit. Bless his heart.