Day 30 VCCA: International Table Tennis and Saying Thanks

Of course, as dedicated and monastic as daytime life at VCCA appears (it’s possible to go an entire day without speaking to anyone, if you happen to eat meals very early or very late and keep to yourself in your studio), there’s also loads of fun to be had. We can’t talk about and make art ALL the time…

So lately, spontaneous rounds of international table tennis have erupted after dinner. Andrew and myself (America), Rahim (Morocco), Barbara (Germany), and Roger (Great Britain) go at it with varying levels of talent and focus, but always with a healthy dose of competition. Between the five us us, we keep score in French–the common language–and curse in everything from Arabic to Pig Latin.

Andrew, a.k.a “Gunner Palmer,” has such “mad skillz” that even rookie players like myself can tell he’s holding back for the sake of the the game. Every once in a while, however, he unleashes the inner beast, as evidenced by this 19-second video clip.
Thanksgiving will bring cocktail hour with classical music performed by Fellow Andrea Clearfield on VCCA’s $50,000 grand piano, followed by an exorbitantly rich meal, followed by fireside readings/offerings, and what I hope will then lead to an evening of debauchery. Since this will be my second Thanksgiving away from home since the start of the tour, I can feel my desire to make memories that last swelling as the holiday approaches. Where does that need come from? A human tendency reinforced by tradition? A growing loneliness? A little eye for something mischievous? Perhaps all of the above.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow friends, readers, and writers out there in cyberspace. If you’re with your families, be grateful. If you’re making art, be grateful still. And if you have a moment, consider offering a blessing of safekeeping for all those who don’t have enough, who are serving overseas, or whose livelihood is in danger.

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