Part I, Colette

In 2010, while at an artist residence in the mountains of Virginia, I met a poet named Colette Inez. We had much in common -- a zest for life, a feisty feminist nature, and even a Catholic upbringing and later abandonment of the church for the spirit and solace we found in nature. We lunched together at the fellow’s table and went for walks on the bucolic property of the residence. Once we both returned to our homes, she to New York City, and I to Northern Virginia, we kept up our friendship through letters – many of which I would read to my children at the dinner table because of the beauty of her prose. The year after we met I created a piece of music based on her poem Empress in the Mirror, which was premiered by Fuse Ensemble in New York.   I found Colette to be the most remarkable woman – vibrant, humorous, grounded, wise, liberated, self-made, humble, and kind. She wore a red hat and bright lipstick the day we met and I remember thinking I wanted to be like her when I grew up.