Throughout this month, I have been thinking a lot about last February at Vermont Studio Center. I posted regularly enough, but there was plenty I did not manage to say regarding my beautiful and intense experience there; it was often just too much for me to process at the time. I painted and wrote what I could, I slept, ate, took pictures, each day in front of the last like footprints in deep snow. Walking the paths between my studio in the old church, the dining room, my sleeping quarters. Writing in the snow-dusted night street with a knitting needle, blunting its tip. So many things I would think about much later. Starting to remember so many details, mostly quiet ones. I decided, a year later, I am going to unpack some of those details I stored, and shelve them in one post or another. This February is nearly over now. I filled it mostly with the activity of the gallery project, which I'm glad for (as we are off to an encouraging start).
In Vermont, I needed to sleep a lot and to keep warm. I needed to talk to all these extremely talented people all around me, and I also often needed to be by myself. I meant to go through some of my notes and ideas but the memories blurred before I could transcribe them. This happens all the time. I went back to the photos. I barely left town all month, but one day a 'field trip' took us past this Museum of Everyday Life, and since I was driving, I pulled over to the snowy side of the road and made everyone go with me to check it out.
Embarking on a mission of glorious obscurity.
Besides the permanent exhibit of various, gloriously obscure objects, there was an exhibition of Phillumeny, the hobby of collecting or creating match-related items. The place was ironically chilly, but we wandered around until I realized one by one they had all retreated back to my car.
I remember that after I returned home, it didn't seem as important to write about everything that made up this extraordinary, ordinary month. I even felt that I hadn't lived it as fully as I'd hoped to. Sometimes it takes me a year to feel the effects- again- to take them out and handle them. Rough, cold surfaces. "Feeling vague," I wrote more than once. Then something would catch and hold.