the beach at Arbroath, Scotland

16 July 2004
haystack dreams

last night i dreamed i was back at Haystack. in the dream, i had never told either of my jobs that i was going to be away, and i remember looking at a calendar and realizing that i had probably been fired from both of them. i decided i didn't care, i just decided to stay at Haystack forever. i think if there is such a thing as heaven, it's a little arts community on the coast of Maine.

sad, then, that i don't get around to posting photos until now. a couple of my fellow classmates have emailed photos, and so that made me finally get off my butt. as i look back at the photos, i'm shocked at what i didn't photograph: my teachers, Barbara and Pati, and most of my class, is missing. i never took a picture of the kitchen, where i spent so many hours, or the inside of the dining hall, with its high ceilings and wall of windows overlooking the ocean. hopefully the rest of pictures i get will fill in the gaps.

first, the sky. the air in New England, and Maine especially, just sparkles and rings clear as a bell. colors seem brighter and more intense. the changes in the weather seem to get inside of you. i felt the sun and air and clouds and rain so much more than i usually do. the stars some nights were incredible, the more i looked, the more i saw, like in that planetarium when i was 6.

these are the rocks that i sat on at some point nearly every day. you could see a half dozen islands from this point, including little hill of Isle Au Haut in the far distance. i had a small obsession with Isle Au Haut, it just seemed like a really musical name to me, so i kept singing it myself, under my breath. Gale told me there are about 20 people who live there, and the only way off the island is a little ferry.

letters, text and postcards (which i did send) sitting in my studio space in the sun.

the outside of the dining hall. home to some of the best food in the world (most of the which i helped make), including a to-die-for Spanikopita. next to the dining hall is a large deck (which i stood on to take this picture) that had benches and tables to sit and talk.

my lobster dinner on saturday night. we carried all the food down to the rocks and ate right next to the water. it was the first time i ever had a whole lobster.

the lovely Clare, who was our TA for the class. Clare is from the west coast Portland.

and the lovely Julie, who is from the east coast Portland, but "learned to talk in Tennessee".

Gale working. i was lucky enough to trade her for one of my books, and now i am a proud owner of one of her cyanotypes (which will get a place of honor in my new apartment, to be sure). she's in the process of getting her MFA in printmaking. Gale is actually from Blue Hill, Maine, which is right up the road from Haystack, and she still has that great Maine accent. i could've listened to it all day.

she had a Maine atlas that i ended up borrowing for most of the two weeks. she also become my go-to person for an endless stream of questions about Maine's geography. most of the work i did there ended up being about water and land and all the weird names that the islands had.

Julie and Suzanne working. Suzanne rocks. she's a professor at UMass.

all the girls (and one guy) that i worked with in the kitchen. they were all really cool.

god, it just hit me how much i miss all these people. and how much i miss being that inspired, and being allowed to work so intensely. i have so many things left unfinished from Haystack, and i haven't even touched them because i've been all-consumed with this damn moving thing. hopefully i'll get to them soon.

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