The Value of a Residency

DSC02040 I have arrived in Assisi, this picturesque town, framed against the blue-green verdant mountains, where I will reside for the next three weeks.

The house where I am housed is up a gravel road, far away from any other houses and quite a trek to arrive here on foot. Luckily, I was picked up by car.

I am told there are wolves, foxes, wild pigs, and in the rooms at night the bees are as big as the width and length of my middle and index fingers combine.

I am told neither the bees nor the wild animals are harmful, but when I was going for a walk this morning was given a stick and told to always have one handy just in case I encounter any such animals. I only spotted a deer, but woke to the sounds of unfamiliar animals.

I was also told there were no snakes, but on the way back from my walk, I saw a dead snake in the road, a foot long. No poisonous snakes here either.DSC02152

The land is welcoming. The silencing is encompassing.

It is hot and hot and hot, and I love the heat as a Caribbean woman, but it is hot.

A church, somewhere in the two rings its bell at noon and six pm. Otherwise time means nothing to me. The day is irrelevant. I am present to what is here and here there is much.

The mountain range, which is like a wall, demands my attention, my homage, and it comforts me as the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, my homeland. When I sit here on this balcony it is before me.DSC02076

DSC02053This is the desk in the room upon which I am writing and upon which I will write for the next three weeks.

Already it says sit down. Attend to your task. There is nothing here to distract you. I embrace your words and ideas and will provide the clarity you need to string them into a pattern that piques the senses and assures the heart that there are endless tomorrows awaiting you…

When I glance out the window I see beauty. I inhale the peace and privilege that this place provides.

DSC02055This is the moth that perched itself on the wall last night behind my bed and refused to leave, bidding me to sleep well and be comforted by its orange wings that nurture dreams.

I am happy and grateful to be here. I will write here and accomplish my goals.

I have brought Haiti here, its stories and its people to help make sense and show its resilience.DSC02098

I am quenched here, and did not realize until I arrived that I was thirst.

I have already engaged in dialogue here with the other artists and found affinity.

I write knowing that writing is my job, this is what feeds my soul, and this is what I was born to do.

A residency provides an artist with the space and place she needs to create and be free and brilliant in that creation…affirming the legacy will continue.

One thought on “The Value of a Residency”

  1. Wow Opal! I love your description of the place… so remote yet so full of life! May the moths and all the beings of the forest surround you and look out for you with love! Enjoy your writing!


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