Tuesday, July 3, 2012

REPORT FROM PARADISE: The Clearing at Elison Bay: Day Three

Doors are not locked here.  There is no internet on campus and cell phones are frowned upon.  Needless to say, there is no television.  This is a retreat they say.  No visitors allowed either.  We are supposed to meditate upon nature, read, go for walks in the woods.  We can bike, write, paint watercolors.  Days are long this time of year but once night falls, all is dark.

Last night lightning and thunder woke us up from deep sleep.  The sky brightened.  Rain fell in chunks.  Welcomed rain!  This morning we walk to breakfast under a drizzle but by midmorning the sun is out again.  I teach the morning shift talking about point of view, unity, structure.  We discuss essays on research and writing, on stories not told.  After dinner (lunch to you and me) of a green salad with oranges and avocados and goat cheese, sliced pork, sauerkraut and baked squash, the desert is outstanding.  The residents who've been here before know what's coming: chocolate fudge and strawberries!  Spoon some fudge in your bowl, pick a few strawberries and dip them in.  Such excitement!  I am stuffed and need a nap but must go back to class.

Two students are missing, having decided to stay in their room and write.  We freewrite and brainstorm the students' projects, knock off earlier than yesterday.   Outside it is muggy.  I look at my cell phone (that is silent) and I see a message: mom called.  I need to call her back.  We talk for a little while.  I tell her where I am, how it is, what we eat, what we do.  I need a nap now!  But before I do the NYTimes crossword puzzle sitting at one of the Adirondack chairs on center campus.  David arrives from his afternoon outing.  I need a shower now!  It is hot and muggy. 

Supper (dinner to you and me) is less substantial, a smaller meal, like the old times, like the farmers.  When we're done we walk to the Circle Ring and pause to look at the lake.  It is very quiet here.  We want to see the Cliffhouse but can't figure out where it is.  Tomorrow?  Ok, tomorrow.  Now on to the Jens Jensen Center to capture a signal and write the blog.  Then a tour of other towns nearby: Fish Creek, Egg Harbor, Bailey's Harbor.

Tonight we are supposed to be able to see the Aurora Borealis but I don't think I can stay up til midnight.  I need to rest.  Replenish.  The air is clean and fresh again.  Breathe. 

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