Colony life is enigmatic. I came across a section of Wallace Stevens' poem, Auroras of Autumn, which hints at the effects of colliding creativity in a contained environment. As artists, our mode of thinking resonates together and the more time we spend, the more eccentric we become, tuning ourselves to each other’s energy. Smoke and explosions tread on the heels of quiet contemplation. What will happen to us, when we leave this place? We seemed to exist quite happily before here, so surely we shall be able to do so upon return, but perhaps restructured into slightly different people.
And of each other thought – in the idiom
Of the work, in the idiom of an innocent earth,
Not of the enigma of the guilty dream.
And knew each other well, hale-hearted landsmen,
For whom the outlandish was another day
Of the week, queerer than Sunday. We thought alike
An that made brothers of us in a home
In which we fed on being brothers, fed
And fattened as on decorous honeycomb.
This drama that we live – We lay sticky with sleep.
This sense of the activity of fate-
The rendezvous, when she came alone,
By her coming became a freedom of the two,
An isolation which only the two could share.
Shall we be found hanging in the trees next spring?
Of what disaster in this the imminence:
Bare limbs, bare trees and a wind as sharp as salt?
The stars are putting on their glittering belts.
They throw around their shoulders cloaks that flash
Like a great shadow’s last embellishment.
It may come tomorrow in the simplest word,
Almost as part of innocence, almost,
Almost as the tenderest and the truest part.