Thursday, January 20, 2011

Paradise on Earth

I am at an artists' residency called Jentel, which is near Sheridan, Wyoming. I will be here for a month, this magical winter have, nestled in a valley that is surrounded by rippling, ancient seabed hills, all creamy white and ochre and sienna: snow, winter grass, and lightning struck stone. Horses and Angus cows dot the landscape in their thick and shaggy winter coats, impervious to the dry cold.

The house is beautiful and full of light, space, color and art. I feel incredibly grateful and...inspired? I think that is the word for it: a feeling of complete safety, of being wholly nurtured and appreciated, of being surrounded by incredible beauty, all of which gives rise to wordless giddiness and impatience to write. It feels easy to focus feels good.

Today was a busy day in town, running errands and seeing some of the local spots. Starting tomorrow, though, I plan on doing nothing but reading, writing, eating, sleeping, snowshoeing, and playing with the various Jentel cats and dogs.

Here are some recent pics...

Essential in WY (though not in public restrooms)
About to land in Sheridan, WY...
Landed on snow, despite Sisyphean snowplough trucks
Rolling snowy hills
Town park for a few bison and elk
This little one is sick, according to the man in front of the fence.
Daddy's not feeling too hot, either.

Friday, January 14, 2011


I have neglected the blog lately, not undeliberately. (Not undeliberately...A former English professor absolutely hated the use of double negatives; if he saw this, he would cross out "not undeliberately" in adamant red ink and write, above the slash, "deliberately." And for the rest of college, I dutifully became more assertive in my essays, cutting out any hint of equivocation or hedging.) But here, I use the double negative quite deliberately (take that, professor!), because it is the only appropriate way to convey the ambivalence I have been feeling about updating the blog. You see, things have been happening very quickly since the last time I wrote, so while there's a lot to update everyone on, it is also a lot to process.

A bare-bones account of what's been happening: Evan, Susie and I motored a few hours south of Vero Beach (finally left!) to Fort Pierce. Then we drove Susie back up from Florida to New York where my friend Tommy will be taking care of her for the month that I am in Wyoming for my writing residency at Jentel. I leave for that in a few days.

What's really been happening: It has been a difficult period of taking stock. My last post, it was taking stock of the pluses and negatives of expired food cast-offs. Since then, funny enough, it's been me trying to figure out whether and for how long certain things in my life are tenable, sustaining, or desirable. Will Susie be further traumatized by my absence? Can I afford to continue sailing with Evan? What exactly is my career at this point, what do I want it to be, and am I cultivating it as much as I should be? Those kinds of questions...(i.e. kind of big personal ones).

The word "inversion" has several definitions, of which these are resonating with me right now for some reason:
  • anastrophe: the reversal of the normal order of words
  • (counterpoint) a variation of a melody or part in which ascending intervals are replaced by descending intervals and vice versa
Cryptic, I know, but voila.