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at the edges of a place of art Aug 23, 2014   Art

Johnson, VT (Remnants of a moment of clarity) 2014

It took a while to get to Vermont, to the Vermont Studio Center. I am writing this, sitting in an old loveseat in a nice old house with no air conditioning, the sun stopped merely by glass and by linen curtains. The sound of a car passing by on the road outside now and then is a reminder of civilization. A barking dog is a reminder of barking dogs. It is a very special place here. Fifty-three artists are here right now, some for weeks, some for five days, some others apparently for years or even a lifetime. A lot of Buddhism is somehow woven into certain aspects of life here. The way some conversations happen in a casual, not very drilling way. It is a calmness that can push courage in those who should have it, and it might bore those who require some sort of leash around some part of their body or brain.

I can imagine that living here for a few weeks could be quite enjoyable and inspiring. Maybe it would be even more so in the winter, with the Internet access down, and with the phone lines down. Electricity I would probably miss. And I would miss the warmth of some sort when necessary. But I often really do not enjoy being connected to so much at all times. I tried to disconnect myself a bit, now and then. Tried to turn off the phone, or to at least set it into “flight mode” now and then. But I have always been addicted to communication. I have been told that; and I know I am. Is this part of it, actually? Should I stop?

I like what has been made possible in this magical little kingdom. Various places have been cut into studios and are now places of work for those who can push, and places of alibi for those who just can’t. A barn has been divided, and a firehouse, even a church is now a set of studio boxes. I wonder if one could ever guess where what work had been created. Does the purpose of a building ever outlive its original idea? I guess that’s a larger question anyway. What happens to land? Does one have better ideas in a cemetery, or a park that used to be one?

A few more days are left to collect the energy of this place, or to at least listen to its waves. I only had the chance to see thee studios: two of them almost completely empty, and one alive for decades. I love this, the edges of it too: the windows overlooking a river, the flowers, the colors the sounds, the voices, the eagerness and the calmness. Peaceful time is the oldest and the true luxury.

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