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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What I Learned at Hambidge

You might think they want to hear about this.
They don't.
If readers of this blog - either one of you - are curious about my silence for the last two weeks, it is because I've been at the Hambidge Artists' retreat in Rabun County, Georgia.

Basically, the deal was this: I'd wake up each morning in my solitary cabin, scramble an egg, and write until noon.  Then I'd make a sandwich, take a nap, then write until four.  At that point, I might go for a walk or just hang out until suppertime, when I'd sit around the table with a bunch of other creative types who'd been alone all day doing pretty much the same thing I had, although in their case it might involve fashioning strange and beautiful ceramic pieces or making moonscapes on the floor with powdered kaolin.  

Right now, you're saying to yourself, "Where do I sign up?"

The main thing I learned from Hambidge is that when you come back from a really wonderful, even transformative experience, the less you say about it, the better.  Your nearest and dearest, though they love you as the flowers do the sun, do not want to hear about it.  They do not want to know that while they were home dealing with laundry and the dog's ear infection, you were having a great time.  They do not want to know that it was such a great time, you sort of dreaded coming back home. 

You would think this would be just the sort of thing that would delight them - exactly what a great time it was, and how you wish it had been longer, and how you can't wait to go back.  And yet they do not want to hear this.  If you tell them, they will greet you with stony-eyed looks.  I share this as a public service.

And that is what I learned from Hambidge.

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