The week at home went very quickly. After a downtime period of burning eyes, sneezing and coughing, my body readjusted to Chicago. I spent a few days happily vegetating, just hanging out, catching up and laughing with Paul before I rallied, took care o’ business, got a haircut, took Paul out to dinner this time, did a lot o’ laundry, packed and now: I am at Ragdale!
And I feel like the Ragdale Queen; not only do I have the utterly gorgeous, huge new Meadow Studio (Jack told everyone at dinner, “We built it just for Melissa”), I am living in the lovely Hayloft room for at least the first two weeks, instead of the tiny Sewing room that often goes with the studio (which is fine and cozy, really, just a tad cramped for tall-ish people because of the angled ceiling). The Hayloft has a lovely big desk for blahgwriting and for addressing an excellent last-minute opportunity that’s just appeared on my horizon. It’s all good; it’s grand.
It’ll be like a brand-new residency; adding to that perception is the fact that for the first time in years, I’ve never been in residence with anyone who’s here now (though I’ve met two of the writers briefly).
I’m doing things differently, too. There is a piece that wants to be built, but I have several questions about how to construct this huge thing I’ve been seeing for months. I had intended to make some tests and perhaps build a maquette at I-Park, but instead, got immersed in the postponed environmental piece. So, today I packed minimally; just brought things like dyes that I know I’ll need, just enough pulp for tests, and materials to construct models. I’m going to use the first week or so to do those, make a small piece for an auction, and to learn how the new studio works for me. (I know it’s going to be a dream; I’m in love already). Then, I’ll haul anything I no longer need home, and bring back exactly what I require to build the full-size piece. I’m only an hour or so from home, but it’s a completely different world here. I’m excited and so happy, both to be back in the sublime familiarity of Ragdale, and to have it be so unknown and fresh at the same time. Woohoo!