into the woods | August 18, 2009


hedgebrook, women writers retreat, residency, writing
finally saw the yinka shonibare exhibit at the bklyn museum (the man is a genius) and hung out afterwards wit my (new) homies from Fela!; met Aklass and the dry eye crew; saw lemon andersen's show, county of kings, at the public theater, met sarah jones and spike lee, caught jesse l. martin checking me out. life's cup has been overflowing lately.

i am going into the woods with a handful of women artists for a month without tv or internet or my cellphone. i was excited to get in to hedgebrook, but am a little petrified of leaving behind my creature comforts.

when i was a kid i felt like a tiny ant on the anthill of God. thought if i disappeared nobody would notice. i still feel mostly the same way. hence the apprehension over leaving. hanging around has been a primary means of staving off irrelevance, though in the past year of leaving film school, moving to the Bronx, and injuring my knee i have largely disappeared from the film crowd, the african dance crowd, the underground BK dance crowd, and the arts crowd in general. so perhaps i am already irrelevant and haven't realized yet.

so i wonder what in fact i am doing leaving. the audacity to call myself a "novelist" or "artist" or "woman" or "revolutionary" (hedgebrook, as they say, is for women authoring change). i suppose i now have to be the person i've been aspiring to be my whole life -- myself, only wiser and bolder. i actually (yes, true story) visit my older self while meditating (only once or twice a year) and ask her questions. she would say now, i think, that she has been waiting for me a long time.

i've considered, rather frantically, deferring the residency and going back to school. yes. esp since it means i have to take another year of leave. i wonder what the hell hell i'm doing trading a year of film school for a month in the woods, like some dreadlocked, hemp-wearing purist. i suppose if i did try to go back to school, having hustled this entire year, i would likely burn out around january.

after all (i tell myself), i have no husband, no children, no mortgage, no apartment, no car payments, no cellphone contract...nothing but a few emotional ties to this place. maybe i should have spent the past year traveling like a bedouin. or maybe i should spend this coming year that way. all i know is that; on the anniversary of my mom's death, her birthday, and mine; i will be sitting in a rocking chair by a wood-burning stove writing or maybe reading from old journals.

i came across this entry once, written when i was fifteen, about how i acted differently around different people. i wondered who my "true self" was and why i wasn't more authentic. i suppose that i don't care that much now who i am to other people as long as i know who i am to myself. and maybe this retreat is all about that.

i'll be turning 28. (wow, i'm getting old.) i think i was supposed to be a doctor by now, with kids and a dog and a pool in the backyard. i'm not sure where this blog or my life is going. but i guess that's alright for now...

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