Saturday, March 2, 2024

The Re-entry

After nearly three weeks at The Vermont Studio Center working on my novel--I've returned home. I was wildly productive at my artist residency. Truly. I wrote three or four hours every morning and again in the afternoon--three or four hours.

And when I wasn't clocking in hours at the laptop, I was walking and dreaming about my book. I might encounter another artist or writer on the path and we would look at each other--bleary eyed, as if we were two souls, passing through each others dreams. There were conversations, but they were generally part of this dreamscape and a little off-kilter. In fact, one evening I was introduced to the artist Jinjoon Lee and he said to me I remember you--from the woods. You were the hunter and I was the hunted. And I immediately said yes, and and we riffed on this imaginary tale, while a couple of artists stood by, witnesses to our surreal encounter.

This dreamscape was emblematic of my residency.

And now, I am home. I wouldn't say that I am back to reality, because well, what is reality, anyway--especially when you're coming to the very end of a novel that's taken you over five years to write and you are drenched in an alternative reality that feels more real than your own reality, and hence you suddenly find yourself on board a run-away run-on sentence and you're not sure how to get the heck off this thing, because it's like a freight train rumbling through the backwoods with no clear stops in the foreseeable future.

Woah. Okay. That's how it feels. And now, I am home with my sweetheart and he is very patient and kind and loving and I am a very lucky lady.

Creative Friends--One day you will find yourself in a dream. You will ask yourself what is this place? How did I get here? And you may ask yourself why am I quoting Talking Heads?! The point is, when you're being creative, you may become a bit untethered. It may take some time to return to reality. This transition from reality to dream and back to reality is why many people eschew the creative life. But, dear friends--I encourage you to get on the train. And then get off the train. The more you do this, the easier it will become.




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