Some are blessed with beauty, talent, and a generous heart.
Others are just lucky enough to have a lifelong friend with these qualities.
I fall into the “others” category, but feel today very lucky indeed.
The talented friend is Diana Barco. In our teens, Diana was an artist, student and something of a quiet provocateur (at least of our joint mischief.) Today, she is an artist, architect, and social activist in the field of women’s health, and sexual and reproductive rights (mainly with IPPF). Diana is also a founding member of the Rogelio Salmona Foundation, a charitable foundation devoted to the work of Colombian architect Rogelio Salmona.
Despite these activities (which take her frequently around the globe), Diana has found time over the last year both to illustrate my poems, and to coach and cajole me into finalizing them. These have been major jobs; the first a showcase for her amazing visual imagination and sensitivity; the second a test of her incredible patience.
Diana also coordinated the design of the project with Sigma Andrea Torres, a wonderfully generous, creative, and gifted graphic designer. (Don’t ever let anyone tell you that putting together a manuscript of poetry is simple because it has relatively few words. Arranging those words, especially with pictures, involves a host of issues–ordering, placement, fonts, margins–it’s immense.)
The final result, a book of poetry entitled Going On Somewhere (poems by Karin Gustafson, illustrations by Diana Barco), will be coming out very soon.
It really is a beautiful book. The poems were okay on their own; the illustrations raise them to a whole new level of interest, engagement, evocativeness.
I will give more details when the book is actually out (soon!) But we seem now to have crossed a final threshold. I want to thank Diana and Andrea, my personal lucky stars.