Today was harder. I'm unpacked, settled in, yet....unsettled inside my own head.
I had to choose 9 pages for the visiting poet to look at and the task was so so big. I stood, in tears, looking at my work pinned to my wall. Feeling little. I wanted to impress and yet I also want help with a few pieces and that is valuable too. So? I threw a pen at the wall like a dart and the ones it hit, went in the pile.
Then I picked them up and pinned them back to the wall. I have to be more practical. So I picked out different ones. 15 minutes to the deadline, no stapler to be found, I bobby pinned the pages and ran them over to the main building.
It was snowing. Let me tell you, the snow here is polite. It's sweet and fluffy like baby ducks, or a snow globe wonderland. In Iowa snow starts out freezing rain, turns to daggers, and then tries to splinter your bones from the inside out. And that's before the wind jumps in the fray. In Iowa snow tears you up. In Vermont, snow tickles and teases.
I made it to the main millhouse offices and overheard the admin telling an applicant on the phone about the waiting lists and applicant pool. Thousands. Thousands of artists apply to come. As per my usual oblivious self, I had no idea. Actually I applied thinking I would never get in. As you can imagine, overhearing this, sent me to puddle state again. Seriously? How did I get in here?
At dinner someone asked me how I was settling in and all of this spilled out. She laughed. Everyone feels like this? It's cute.
Sigh of relief. And now to get to work. Grateful for the universe answering my yoga pants and latte plea for a fix to the chaos and pain that was my life a year ago. Seriously. Go out and stand under this wishing moon and see what happens next......
Three days of driving, Ohio actually looks like postcards of Ivy League Campuses in the fall by the way, and I arrived in one piece. Mostly.
Settled in. Hiked a bit with a local friend on a clean up day, ate breakfast that was really good, and began the transition to writing mind.
Writing mind? I don't know how else to describe it. Something changes in my head when I take time like this to write and be with my own thoughts. Daydreams take hold. Ideas flow. I get really hungry for meat and potatoes (not kale).
Writing mind. Everything becomes a poem. Beauty and sensory becomes intensely present. I am here.
This place though? This is where my Acadie foremothers farmed. This is near where they were banished and exiled to the swamps. The memory of this is in my heartbeat. The heritage and bloodline of Evangeline, may her patience and loyalty and stubborn heartache sustain me.
Fall is a tricky beast. For me at least.
Yesterday I reminded Lily why she needs to be careful of wasps and bees in the fall, why they are more aggressive now: the cold weather triggers winter preparation and part of that preparation is kicking out the weak or worthless fellows so they don't use precious resources for the winter. Those critters in turn try and bring back gifts to the hive as a last ditch effort to convince the hive that they are worth keeping around. Their desperation is what makes them dangerous. Not being part of a family or group unit when the freeze comes is certain death for the individual, but keeping a weak link in the hive is detrimental to the survival of the unit.
This applies to people too, when they become desperate or lonely, they are also most aggressive and dangerous. The holidays compound this with glitter and twinkle lights. Wrap up isolation and heartache with a big red bow.
This year though, I am making a special effort to bring joy into focus and try and capture the sweet moments, the sugar plum dreams, and the wonderland of landscape.
As a special bonus, My ex will have the kids for most of the holidays and I will be writing like a madwoman in Vermont at the Studio Center. I've never been to this region of the United States, though it is a hop, skip, and a boat ride to Nova Scotia where my Arcadian fore-mothers once farmed. I may not be able to resist a weekend trip.
In the meantime, I am writing, packing, sorting, photographing moments, grading papers, and finding solace in the kitchen. I found some top of the line enameled cookware at a local swap shop and cooking is a joy again.