Leaving is often a melancholy business. Ten years ago I left the Vermont Studio Center for the first time, and tomorrow I leave it after my second residency here. When I left a decade ago, I was newly divorced and happy to have cut myself off from the life I’d been living. I hadn’t yet established my new life, and I was free but also in a sort of free fall. I spent all of February here that year, and it snowed like it might never stop. I felt buffered by the whiteness as if I was in the blanched room of an asylum, taking some cure meant to heal me. The cold held itself against me, and I held it back, hoping for numbness.
I forgot all this until I arrived back here four weeks ago. And then during this very snowy March I felt these things come back into my body. Remembrances of this sort can serve as a gauge, and it was fulfilling to sense the needle tipping toward full this residency. I’m all right now. More than all right. But I wasn’t then.
Oddly, the Someone reached out to me while I was here---on a perfunctory matter of post-divorce business. That was a gauge too. Winter’s power over us can be absolute during a snowfall that shuts everything down. An adversary’s power can feel absolute too.