Ragdale Residency 2017: Day Seven

Time: Friday, a day full of sunshine and pleasant heat. Something like a tropical paradise. This is Ragdale in Summer. Why shouldn't the birds also sing? Is waking up at 5 am too early? That want for sleep which will never happen now. There's an idea kicking up dust in my dream state, a specific sentence reverberating in my sleep, and this is what I wake up to. At least the sun knows what it must do.
Friends Studio sign on porch

Friends Studio sign on porch.

Space: David, Ragdale's hardworking groundskeeper is just outside the Friends' Studio, where I have come with my laptop, books, and continuing drowsiness, with that sentence and its associated ideas all swarming in my head like a buzzsaw. I make coffee and get right down to work on the starting draft of the novel's first pages. An uncertain thought and endeavor, but here goes, oh well. There's no better hour than now, no better place than here: Ragdale—it leaves me no choice, no option to slack off. I cannot not do nothing here; this is its inspiration. Time goes by, the morning sun shifts, and the only thing constant is the chatter of birds. As I focus on the writing, I lose sense of time. Cynthia joins me, ready for her latte and a continuation of her installation. Then the smell of fresh dewy grass, a thumping sound, and, when I look out the west window with the AC, I see earth coming up in the teeth of David's hoe. Already he is at work, his body bent forward, focused on his task. I take him an orange and banana, which he accepts with pleasure. I am glad. Grab lunch from the fridge in the barn house. The good stuff Linda makes that keeps us all happy and well fed. How does she do it? Just amazing. Heart: The desperate push to get a few pages written to a point where they are readable, presentable to an audience unaccustomed to my new work, begun here, tortured and fired up here. The pain of creation is a wonder residing in the soul. What is the sight and sound of my prose? How does it appear in the twilight to the attentive ears of my new audience? How shall I begin when my turn arrives, these first six pages of poetic prose let out into the post-vernal space for the first time, so that even I am not sure if it's right to kick these creative doors open. When the world is ready. When the world is ready to listen. When the world is ready to accept. When the world is ready to make permanent these new blossoms of scarlet and blue and gossamer wails. I do not want to know if the world is ready for me yet; that is not for this heart to understand. In my unrelenting drive and effort, I create as much as I can, that is all, and in this way I continue to trust in the value of time. Ragdale is an idea that becomes a generous and galvanizing host, and so present among us, me, strangers in the flesh who are reminded of its scope and size. This evening, Venetian Spritzers abound. Thanks, Cynthia! The porch at Friends' Studio entertains, and as we sit around and contemplate the day, the hour, the spaces of creation and friendship, so also the mosquitoes come, uninvited guests, to hear then claim their prizes as we drive them away. The Lost Parchments of Valmiki. An experiment in metafiction with a different and all-encompassing narrator, a new voice. How is it going to work? Sooner than later, Fishhead will emerge as the protagonist to this emerging sequel. ~Ignatius

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