here in Vermont

The photos above were taken after one of the first big snows I experienced here at Vermont Studio Center; much, much more snow has arrived since then. I love it.

I finished writing my twelfth chapbook, here, in December (in Oakland). Each shiny black cardstock cover is stenciled with acrylic paint applied with a throwing sponge from my pottery studio.

I’ve made 95 copies, most of which are earmarked for my fundraiser donors. Most have not found their way into the world yet; I’ll get more of them in the mail once I return to Oakland.

We are in the final few days of this residency. I’ve worked on essays and poems, new and old. It’s been a pleasure to have this protected time to be with this work, with other artists and writers, with the staff who make all of this possible.

I am looking forward to carrying some of the rhythms I’ve found during this time back with me. And to remember these words that I taped to the wall near the window as soon as I arrived:

On the banks of this river, I surrender to the boundaries that land is teaching. Yes. I surrender to the demands of my dream for you and for myself. Which is love. Which is abundant rest. Which is a visionary world that looks so much like a dream, but when you close one eye, it opens. When you open up this close to the edge, land holds you and water moves through you. And what you thought was closed off to you opens up like possibility. And the danger you thought would open up and swallow you and everyone you love instead reclarifies who you are, updates your dreams and waits to wake you with new purpose.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs
from Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals