After a few days at the residency, we’re firmly down the rabbit hole, burrowed deep and low in this parallel universe that’s reignited — much like Brigadoon — each time we return. Occasionally, I hear people standing outside the rabbit hole, saying words such as “Obama spending cuts” and “Wisconsin,” but for the most part, I can’t and don’t pay that much mind. I’ve deep in the dark openings beyond reach, explaining what study plans, making jokes about how Ralph and Francis are beginning to look like each other, and racking my little brain to explain how to merge transdisciplinarity, the notion of a gift economy and strong-enough coffee to stay awake for the next thing.
Residencies make their own magic, and I would even say their own reality except this reality is quite real: what happens here is a thunder of pebbles dropped in the center of people’s inner deep-forest ponds. The ripples go on forever. There are fierce and tender talks to be had, understandings to be garnered, hugs to accept and give, meatless Mondays to meander through and occasional singing from just out of view when walking up hills through the hard-driving snowy wind. The winter residency particularly brings me down into a cozy space of contemplation, connection, confusion and coexistance.
The conversations I’m enjoying in this rabbit hole with students and faculty often concern sleep (which it’s hard to get quite enough of when our minds are buzzing and hearts are zinging), health (ditto), and what we need to learn or unlearn to fulfill the call of our passions. The wind roars, the sun shines surprisingly, the snow falls, and I crawl in deeper to see what I can see in this old cave, a kind of tribal return that will, eventually, lift me up to the surface in about a week, right into the lap of a taxi and then onto the plane where I’ll be zoomed out of this rabbit hole and back to the above-ground expanse of my life.