June 15, 9:23 am   Durango, CO

 

     Decided to drive rather than fly to this meeting.  I don’t usually mind flying, but I figure I can use the time to start getting in touch with my inner children, cleanse my ma, put a clean suit on the old id and hope for the best.  The journey is the destination and other eastern orchestral jazz.  Two new experiences are waiting.  First, I have never spent much time in Washington, except for a couple of weekends when I was ten or so.  More importantly, I have never been to a writer’s retreat.  This one is special, according to my colleagues, because it is held in a real life writer’s colony.  Most colonies, Roanoke, Tashi Station, etc. need a wide assortment of vocations to remain smoothly aligned and spiritually grounded—not to mention self-supporting.  Farmers, for example, contribute in some consumable manner.  Like cells in sponges, the individuals in successful colonies adapt to necessary tasks.  Blacksmiths, leatherworkers, potters, faded flowers, and bartenders all seem to emerge from whatever stock is inserted to a colonial atmosphere.  Not so at this colony.  Nothing but writers.  Perhaps the writers in residence are so inspired in their craft that bodily needs have disappeared like so much sun-warmed dew.  It’s also possible that they have writing specialists to handle menial tasks—an agricultural writer to draw caloric verse from the fallow grounds surrounding the stables, a freeform syllabist water witch from Vassar to dowse the moisture from the aether, and a couple of Berkeley press contract vegans to insure the organic nature of any short fictions offered for mass consumption.  Personally I find it more likely that they outsource.  Sacrificial Fullbrights converted directly into Pad Thai and ginseng tea.  Whether or not the colony supports itself is not as important, however, as their offer to support me for a few weeks.  Who am I to spit on the hands that feed me?  Funding is funding and writing is (I am told) writing.