Just under a week in WV...

Tiny dried flowersIt's been less than a week since I arrived for my little working retreat in my grandparents' empty home in WV, but not by much. For the most part it's gone as expected. Since I'm awake at 4am with the next round of The Headache That Has Yet To Go Away, I thought I'd reflect on my time so far.

  • I sleep late many mornings, then wake to work sometimes into the late evening.
  • Between my Moto Q - The Smart Phone That Does Not Play Around - and Skype, calls are continually able to come in.I've loved hearing from friends and family.
  • I've started reading a book that a friend told me about years ago and being A Serious Page Turner, I'm never without entertainment, although I arrived without a television.
  • One night, just to get into the spirit of things, I hand washed some laundry in the kitchen sink and hung it on the improvised clothes line I'd strung in the utility room - in truth an unused long phone cord I found in one of the bedrooms. Admittedly, I did not have to do this; there's a laundromat not too many miles from here and I have plenty of clean clothes remaining until I should need to go there and wash in earnest. The task was zenlike, however, and I found myself strangely enjoying it.
  • Wet, peeling barkAlmost every day, I take one of my cameras outside and go for a walk somewhere on the property where I played as a child. Many things are as I remember. Many things are not. I've made a point of slowing down and trying to look at things in a way I never did before. I often find myself shooting things with my camera that the "me" of even two weeks ago would never have bothered to notice. This pleases me.
  • I've had a couple of lovely phone conversations with a neighbor whose home I can see from the sliding door windows in the den - my office - whose children and nephews I used to spend summer days and evening playing with. Although I haven't spent any time in the company of anyone who lives here, since arriving, it was nice to catch up that day. It's also nice to know there's someone friendly and familiar so close by while I "hide out" from my usual rhythms.
  • Matthew McCain Glascoe Yesterday some friends passed through town. MMG and Jason, headed by car from Colorado to High Point, NC, stopped in for a couple of hours of fun with the camera. The musicians will be playing a long stretch of gigs for furniture market, soon to begin, and Matt had called a while back to see if I wanted to meet for lunch as they passed through the area. The timing didn't work out for lunch, but as we'd been talking about how he needs some new photos for his website since these days, showing up to play sometimes garners him some shocked looks - he's been wearing his hair and beard much longer than usual, and it's seriously different from the look he sports on his website - he's been wanting to get some updated shots. I offered to help him out, since there are so many great spots for the kinds of photos I knew he'd like. We weren't disappointed and it was great to see the guys for a while, before resuming my solitary existence.
  • Not long after they left yesterday evening, this headache arrived and has barely let up since. I'm reminded of the eye doctor's asking "Do you have many headaches?" and telling me about my unusually small optical nerve. It helps a bit to know that nothing untoward is going on in my head that would cause such severe headaches on occasion, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Fortunately I did not arrive without ibuprofen and hopefully the weather front that must be the culprit will even out soon.
  • MMG & Jason on a bridgeI'm happy here. The time here hasn't yet successfully helped me to decide just how long I want to remain. I know I'll leave for at least a couple of weeks, before too long, as I have obligations elsewhere. Then the plan is to return again. I have friends who tell me, every time we talk, "Come home. You've done this long enough. You're too far away." Via email this week I was told, "The Greensboro vibe is not the same without you." I'm not narcissistic enough to believe that's true for many, but it's lovely to be missed by my peeps. I miss Greensboro, too - a lot - but I'm so, so glad to be here right now. Greensboro isn't going anywhere, and if things go as planned, eventually this property won't be available to me. For now, this is exactly where I'm supposed to be. Time will tell just how long I feel the need to say so.