Between the Lakes

The campus is a-buzz with blue uniforms, color-coded socks, and several thousand visitors almost every evening for one performance or another. I’ve already seen Bela Fleck, Zakir Hussein, Edgar Meyer, Shimka Copeland, and Taj Mahal. This weekend I get to see Loudon Wainwright III, Chris Thile, and The Punch Brothers. For plays, I’ve seen Macbeth—featuring award-winning cast members and the creepiest sculptural set imaginable. I wake to hear the PA system in Junior Boys, waking up artists-in-the-making for first breakfast call. By mid-morning, the choir tents are humming full throttle, the landscapers are out watering the plants, and my fantastic Intermediate Writing Majors are rehearsing their hearts out in anticipation of Wednesday night’s formal reading.
That’s right, these junior high students will have a program, an audience of 50+, a podium, microphone, and all the support in the world as they read in The Great Room of The Writing House for their 3 minutes (per student) of fame. During my 3-hour break between classes, I walk home for lunch and watching a war documentary or drama, jotting notes when appropriate. By nightfall, with a 2-hour workout under my belt, I’m usually ready for beer and bed.
Yet the story ideas keep coming. The backlog doesn’t feel like a burden. It feels more like a blessing. I have ideas and motivation in surplus, and pretty soon I’ll have a surplus of time as well. While I have been able to sneak in bits of writing here and there, by and large Interlochen summer is twice as busy as my semester at the Academy. I love it for the energy and enthusiasm. But I’m also glad it lasts for a finite amount of time.
The most fantastic thing about being here, though, is that while all this creativity pulses and resounds from the 1200 acre campus day in and day out, there is always the lake. Green Lake or Duck Lake, take your pick. Along the shore, the soft sloshing of water paired with an ever-present breeze is enough to wipe away any mental congestion or even plain old overstimulation. They are there, four seasons a year, always waiting to be discovered. Their gift is the same each time, but the possibility for deeper discovery always remains. I resolve to walk to their shores daily, waiting and listening, for the all-natural version of this land feature’s greatest art.

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