We are nearing the end of our 10-day residency on Whidbey Island, two hours or so northwest of Seattle. I’m looking out at what I believe are Puget Sound waters, butting against the Strait of Juan de Fuca (and always, the ghost of Carver that reminds us of what matters). And beyond is simply the Pacific at large. When it’s sunny, which it has been for maybe one-fourth of the time I’ve been here, you get a pretty good view of the Olympic Mountains.
All in all, this seems an appropriate place to pause from life with a group of fellow artists who are striving to create and discover meaning through language and form. The artistic impulse in its rawness–the rawness of the physical, our imperfect bodies–is underscored by the vast power of the elements, the unique character of the Pacific Northwest wilderness–including the unforgiving sea as well as the gentle deer, our constant companions in plain day. If the Christian Humanist vision warns against being alienated from oneself, from becoming neurotic in the dance between the edges and the center, this is the kind of place that is capable of teaching us to at least dance more gracefully.
It’s a privilege to be here. But I miss my girls like crazy.
(Pic by Anastasia)