Week 8: Reflections as Writer-in-Residence
The magic here is captured in moments like this:
A faux spring day in lower northwest Michigan, but still—the sun is shining, layers have been shed, and the students are beside themselves with joy. We can see and smell the ground here; something we hadn’t anticipated until April. Students speed by on bicycles or scooters. Skirts well above the knee (dress code) and—gasp—the boldness of tank tops. They are absurd in their fleshy-ness, their inexplicable desires to expose themselves at the first sign of warmth. And yet…three students, so taken with this weekend’s weather that they set up their boom box outside and blast Italian opera for well over an hour. To even think “indoors” would be a sin. Just let them be, these rays of sunlight theirs and theirs alone, these foreign words sung full-bodied and booming just for them.
Or here, where a tiny snail took shelter in a blistered birch tree:
I walked for hours this weekend, finally venturing to the other lake that makes Interlochen the land between two lakes. Green Lake is near my cabin—the place I always look for sunset and ice fishing shanties. But Duck Lake is across the highway and borders Interlochen State Park and the “Junior and High School Boys” portion of the school’s summer property. Here, humble second homes (cabins) abound, as well as docks and canoes and a few breathtaking overlooks.
Week 8 was characterized by such lovely surprises. The campus is unburying itself before my eyes. The metaphor of shedding layers has never felt so appropriate. I can feel my body opening, the fibers in my muscles a little less tense, a little less apt to draw back from the air. Rather than hunkering down, I’m branching out.
To that end I finished Duchess of Nothing (Heather McGowan) and Micro Fiction: An Anthology of Really Short Stories (ed. Jerome Stern) this weekend. I wrote 2 short shorts, mailed a submission, worked on TRACHDON, and—the biggie—submitted 3rd quarter student grades.
Next week: More writing. Period. For now, this view of ice-shrouded sticks floating on Duck Lake’s fully melted shoreline: