August 3, 2011
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It’s not over yet; we have two more critiquing days and three more wonderful evenings to spend together before we go our somewhat-less-separate ways. But this has been a truly remarkable experience, participating in the creation of a new community, or, perhaps more accurately, a new iteration of an existing community. We have been assured by previous Clarion graduates that we are all part of the same tribe now. Still: eighteen people from geographically and somewhat culturally diverse backgrounds have spent five and a half weeks together, and now people whose names I did not know four months ago have become close friends and trusted writing companions. And we have learned a lot about writing along the way, and learned even more about ourselves as writers.
It’ll be bittersweet, the leaving, because of course I love my normal life and would not trade it for anything in the world, except for possibly a life identical in every way with a healthier bank account (but who wouldn’t want that?). The few occasions on which I’ve gotten to see my husband over the last six weeks have not been compensation for the time without (though I am dearly grateful for them). This little bubble we’ve lived in, though, where literally nearly everything is about writing–we critique, we write, we read, we repeat–has been a really wonderful experience. And will continue to be for three more days.
It’s kind of like that Avenue Q song, “I Wish I Could Go Back To College.” I always have, and for this summer, for six weeks, I kind of feel like I did.
(Of course, sitting in a library doing research kind of helps…)