Could you tell me a little bit about your residency? You've written so much for us on the blog, and I'd love to hear more about your daughter, the library, what you've taken from your stay there?
Beautiful, beautiful day here. I'm just realizing there's only a week left.
The library here is one of the best I've ever seen - great collection, a wonderful resource, a great children's section. Born to Read, a great program for children under 3. The most incredible children's section. It's a great way to know the community.
I wish we could find a way to connect to find a babysitter. And I wish you could get a library card through the Fine Arts Work Center, put a credit card down in case you forget any books. That would have been such a gift. Maybe you can work something out like that in the future.
This is one of the best thing that's ever been awarded to me - it's so deeply moving that I can be in this place. I wish I could find the words, my English isn't sufficient to express all I have to say. I've been working 20 years, and I've never had anything like this. It's been heaven. Everyone I know who does know about this seems to think it is for dancers or painters - I'm an activist, so the first thing I do is connect to the community - and you're not as connected to the FAWC if you aren't a dancer or a painter. It would be helpful to have a phone conversation to tell them what they can do, where they can go, so they don't feel lost. Where do you get your tea from? It would be nice to have three or four tea bags. At least a phone call about the logistics. Let them know where they can get groceries.
Did you connect with the FAWC?
I have now connected with Catherine. It was totally my initiative to connect with Catherine, but [I would rather there was no connection. She was kind once I pushed, but I had to push]. We flew in at a late hour from CA, and she wasn't around.
Have you found the black book?
The book is like my Bible, it's great.
What have you found most surprising?
There are all kinds of creatures outside, nocturnal visitors. We had this visitor, not sure if it was a raccoon or what, but I didn't know what to do with a visitor like that. I was putting food in the bin, but then they come because there's food in the bin.
Had you heard of the program before you were awarded the residency?
I poked around at the Provisions Lib a few yrs ago, and I longed for it. But I just walked away. I didn't apply or anything; I didn't think I'd be awarded a residency.
Theres something magical about this place, it was the most beautiful thing. I've never seen my daughter so happy. She's quite a hit here.
People here are so beautiful, so nice, tolerant, it's really progressive. The interaction has really helped me in my work.
So you have been using the time to do a little bit of work?
I've been organizing, doing conference calls looking at the dancing trees outside, writing an article would love to come back - it is such a gift. I think of all the people caring for this world and this is the first time I felt like someone was caring for me. I just don't know how to thank someone for a gift like that, I don't know how to thank Gaylord for her generosity.
The art is so special and so powerful, I loved the book on the art in the house. Instead of going to a museum, the art is right here and that makes for a personal experience with it. It is so close, so accessible. It's such a blessing to know that I'm here.
Have you settled into the cottage? What do you think of it?
I've fallen in love with it. It's absolutely precious. I read a little bit about the house creaking, I was worried; my daughter is a light sleeper, but it's been wonderful. All these things - the doors, for instance. When one door closes, another one opens, that's what I think of each time. We're all looking for hope somewhere. It's like experiencing spring all over again, outside of the cottage. Very quiet, very peaceful. I like space, I like light, so I haven't used the study. It doesn't belong to the rest of the house, I feel.
Downstairs it suddenly started smelling really bad in the basement. It came and it suddenly went. I've spoken to Chris about it - they're lovely by the way, and very helpful. They were the kindest. Anyway, it's been great. I still have to get used to the bedroom with the strange ceiling. And the music collection that's here is wonderful. I think some people have burned CDs and left them here, and it would be nice to hear the diversity of people who have been here.
Do you have any suggestions for improving the program?
It's really wonderful - really, it's the best, one of the most thoughtful, interactions with Peggy warmed my heart before I even arrived, Peggy is a great ambassador because she is so warm and kind and sweet and generous - [Catherine takes a little time to warm up].
I've also been able to write a bit not for work. It was nice to write something a little different, with a sense of humor.
Did you find that the cottage was a good place to relax?
I'm sleeping so much better. Activity. I'm going to be so spoiled, I hope when I go back I can continue this. Taking time to cook nice meals, all of those. Spending time with Soleil. Taking time with what I write. I think it's a very good idea not to have a television.
We loved reading your descriptions of Provincetown in season! Can you tell us a little more about your interactions with the town?
Whale-watching was magical, I just started crying. You realize how much we endanger them as human beings. They are so graceful, it was like the most beautiful ballet I've seen. They came right next to the boat and went back and underneath! It was eye-opening: look what human beings have done to beings who are so amazing. I'm hoping I can get out there once more.
Did you get to read during your residency?
I read the parody on Gone with the Wind that was in the cottage - The Wind Then Gone. I've been reading a lot of cookbooks and practicing them. We've been cooking really good Vegetarian meals here.
I can't believe time has gone so fast - I'm counting, trying to savor and make everything longer.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
My deepest, deepest gratitude from me and my family.