Wednesday, October 10, 2007

CLOSED for a season

My first full day at MacDowell started at 7:40am (pacific time) when I woke up to the sound of soft rain on leaves. I spent the day collecting thoughts and getting myself oriented in my new creative environment. This included a walk to town to pick up a few supplies and poke around the quintessential New England town of Peterborough: red brick, white columns, well-tended gardens and small shops. I stopped at the library to pick up a volume of Frost, since I firmly believe in finding thematic threads for the distinct segments of life. I skimmed through a number of familiar poems searching for the one that would rightly capture my feelings towards the next two months, until I read one of my favorite opening lines:

Back out of all this now too much for us,
Back in a time made simple by the loss
Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off
Like a graveyard marble sculpture in the weather,

The poem is “Directive” and that’s what this place is about. Escape, however briefly, from the complexity of life, so that one can find the direction to head in.

And if you’re lost enough to find yourself
By now, pull in your ladder road behind you
And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me.
Then make yourself at home.

The place gives me the feeling of being away from peering eyes that dissect and assess my work. No one is watching me, no one has any expectations of me, they simply want to feed me and make sure I have enough space to spread my creative wings in any direction. Which leaves me free to take risks, make mistakes, waste time with experiments. Making myself at home didn’t take long. Yesterday I walked around the grounds with my camera and was already inspired to try something new, just for fun. Already I feel the compass orienting.

Here are your waters and your watering place.
Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.

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