Sunday, July 1, 2012

REPORT FROM PARADISE: The Clearing at Elison Bay - Day One

After six hours of driving we arrive at The Clearing Folk School - Jens Jensen's creation - in Elison Bay, Door County, Wisconsin.  A zig zag road leads us to the lodge where we check in.  Log cabins over flagstone paths in between woods populated by maples and birches, trilliums, viburnums.  From the window in our room I can glimpse the bay.  Perfect weather has welcomed David and me to this earthly paradise where I will teach a writing class for a week.

There are between twenty and twenty-five people staying here for four different classes: watercolor, stained glass, landscape design, writing.  We settle in, we take a nap.  Supper is at 6 pm.  We eat family style: tortellini with basil and tomatoes,  tuna salad on an English muffin with avocado and tomato and cheese, watermelon and pineapple slices, banana cake for desert. 

After supper we watch a slide show about Jensen and The Clearing, introduce ourselves, and break off for individual class meetings.  I have five students.  Good group.

I think I'm going to like it here.  Quiet, trees, birds, lake, and now - at 10 pm - a full moon in front of me while I write these notes sitting outside an ice cream parlor in Sister Bay where I've come to borrow the wifi from a restaurant across the street.  No internet on campus.  No cell phones allowed.  We are on a retreat from daily cares and sounds.   Or are we?  Some of us always figure a way to thwart the rules.  But then...

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