Zoom salon for Keats and a new website

Here is a summary of the recent Section for Literary Arts & Humanities meeting of the local group in Fair Oaks, CA. This meeting occurred on October 31, 2020 via Zoom.

Meeting Summary

Last night’s meeting was a big one! And very lively! We hosted our first participatory Zoom salon in celebration of the 225th birthday of John Keats. We wore funny hats, said funny things, made funny faces, and had some serious fun in lively play of poetry and literary conversation.

If you’ve been following the local group in Fair Oaks, you know that salons and artistic presentations are an important part of how we meet and work. The Covid crisis put a damper on our in-person New Moon Salons, but we are learning to adapt by use of imagination. Last night we all wore costumes, recited poetry to one another, told riddles, watched videos, and listened to a voice from the Beyond — T.S. Eliot, in this instance, who recited “The Hollow Men” to the group in his magisterial way. Welcome to Fair Oaks, T.S. — you arrived with Dan for the evening’s festivities. Any more Americans lurking out there? I see quite a few Brits and Germans in the ballroom — and is that Kerouac at the bar flirting with Sylvia? — but otherwise nigh a Yankee in the lot. But the night is young and welcoming — though I do sense a touch of autumn in the air — “season of mist and mellow fruitfulness” and all that jazz.

And so, Autumn

A time for gathering in, reflection, taking stock, meditation, and laying aside seed thoughts for the future. In that mood, I took a moment at the beginning of the evening to review the past year. It’s just a year ago on November 1, 2019 that a letter went out by post and email from the Section collegium to all the North American members of the Section for Literary Arts and Humanities of the School for Spiritual Science. The letter explained some big changes that occurred in 2019. It detailed changes in the Section collegium, and it laid out plans for the coming months through the end of 2020.

The year 2020 not only shut down travel and personal meeting events, it forced and inspired us to think differently about how we meet and work and what we do. Opinions vary, but I think at this point common sense might whisper that 2021 will pose similar challenges.

In response to global events, the local group in Fair Oaks switched to Zoom, and if you are reading these meeting summaries, you know we’ve been meeting a lot. Gosh, a whole lot more than I ever expected or intended. In spring, we took up the magical idealist poet Novalis — thinking that things would return to “normal” by June 2020. Nope. Silly us!

“Blue Moon of October 31, 2020” by Elliot Tripp


A Website for Our Section Work: TheLiteraryArts.com

The website is done! Last night I “unveiled” it — to use the word highlighted by Gayle and Novalis at our meeting last week. This is a website for friends and members of the Section for Literary Arts & Humanities of the School for Spiritual Science in North America. It will contain information on the ongoing regular Section meetings in Fair Oaks and information about other events related to our Section work.  

The hope is that other local groups will share — and that from this sharing, we all will feel inspired. The website is a local response to a global situation and crisis (Covid).

“All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses . . .”

And on the theme of meeting, might I share a final photo? Here is the Marriott Hotel at the intersection of Sunrise and Highway 50 — fondly recalled by Fair Oaks meeting stalwarts as the first meeting site of the local group when we started our meetings ten years ago. We met here for many years, right at the top. Many voices were heard in those meetings. I hear them still.

“In a work of art, chaos must shimmer through the veil of order.”
— Novalis