In May of 2012, I took a road trip which embraced
both nostalgic and new adventures traveling in a rented
minvan with my friend Ginger and Sweetie, her cat.
May1st Drove from Bedford Penn. to Grailville in Loveland Ohio, about 25 miles NW of Cinncinati. It is the American Centre for an International interfaith organization of women called The Grail. Ginger and I had been on staff there for the Semester at Grailville in the late 60’s. The stopover was our nostalgia visit to a place that was significant in both our lives. the Grail’s mission statement proclaims its commitment to social justice issues, spiritual deepening, and developing women’s artistic, cultural & other creative strengths to release women’s energy for world transformation. It is after all called The Grail so one expects ideals to pursue! Ginger is an artist and some of her large paintings are still on the walls of the main building. It was Ginger who first taught me about photography as an art form, and suggested that it might be my artistic medium … and so it has become.
There was a raging storm just after we arrived at about 5:30 p.m. with a tornado watch in effect. We had been worried about encountering storms as our route west would bring us through prime tornado country in Arkansas and Oklahoma but after careful checking of the forecasts, we discovered that way west was clear for the next few days.
May 2nd The next morning we were anxious to see what had become of the sculpture installation that Robert Wilson, famous performance artist and avant garde theater director, had created in 1969. It consisted of 576 telephone poles and was located in one of the fields behind and below the impressive converted barn which is the Oratory building. It has been used for many creative projects and music concerts as well as religious services. Ginger and I were responsible for staging many events there during the years we spent at Grailville. The colourful cross above the altar was created by Ginger when she was a student at Pratt Institute, New York City
The lower field also serves as a burial ground for Grail members and friends We were moved by the simple stones, the Buddhist prayer flags & the cryptic notations that conveyed rather little about