Finally settled in at Virginia Center for Creative Arts--which I just noticed now has a blog--after arriving around midnight on Friday. It is always frustrating to leave DC later than intended, particularly when one gets trapped by the HOV rules for Route 66 (meaning that if you don't have 3+ folks in the car, you can't drive from 3:30 to 6:30 PM). I used the extra hours wisely, though. Just trust me.
And honestly, I would have arrived just in time for a dinner that might have killed me. If I have to take a chance on meals, I usually guess that the vegetables are safe. But the next morning I learned the chef's technique consists of "butter, salt and pepper." Which meant that tonight, my dinner consisted of falafel (minus the cucumber sauce) and bare greens. Ineligible for consideration: beef stew, egg noodles, peas. Ah well. With the nature of social eating at art colonies--in which you graze and graze, simply as an excuse to continue the conversation--I need an involuntary fast or two.
Notice how I rationalize falafel as "fasting"?
Yesterday was all a matter of nesting: introducing myself to other residents, unpacking, running out for things I'd forgotten to pack, and buying a planter of tulips, croci and daffodils for a studio that desperately needed a spot of color. The "watercolors of nature" calendar thumb-tacked to the bulletin board emphatically did not count. Who wants to be reminded of the dwindling days at an art colony?
There is a better couch in the living room. There is a new and disturbing plethora of stink bugs. The grounds are a bit muddy, but not nearly as icy as when I was last here in January 2005. It was quite a shock, upon walking into the studio kitchen, to find a poem I'd thumbtacked to the bulletin board way back when. The poem appeared in Theories of Falling under a different title, with a different dedication, and the paper is now brittle and curling at the edges. But there it was.