Day Eight – The "Weekend"
Technically, it is Friday, the beginning of the weekend…not like I would know. Despite an afternoon at the beach, mornings on the sand, long walks, little diversions and plenty of naps, I have also been working like mad. Still, the days blend together into a string of routines–7:30 wake-up without an alarm, shower, granola and conversation in the kitchen with Guy and Liz, and Liz’s dog Sumi slinking around. Then, a latté on the beach with my toes in the waves, retrieving my daily quota of sand in my rolled-up jeans which I then distribute throughout my studio. Work for awhile, then nap, then work, then lunch, then work, then a bit of aimlessness till the evening takes shape.
Tonight, there is a bonfire and lantern festival on the island, at the opposite tip to where I’m staying. Flasks tucked in pockets, hoodies zipped against the mosquitoes and other biters, we head to the beach: me, Jo, Adrienne. There, we meet other ladies from the lodge, watch kids swim in the freezing night lake, and feel a bit weekendish despite having minimal structure to our days.
We meet Kathleen, who till now had just been a name (“Have you met Kathleen yet? She’s a writer, too!”), who is rushing around in the dark shooting video to include in her upcoming show. “There’s such great material here,” she says. “The island surprises you, you come out here planning to work on one thing but then your work becomes informed by something you never expected to find!”
I think of the outline I packed from home–a collection of short pieces concerning memory, etiquette, love, food–and the project I began yesterday instead: a tale of two bands of children stranded overnight at an island amusement park, the small ones forgotten at the Lost Children booth, the big ones the staff from the midway who intentionally missed the last ferry in order to party till morning amidst the flashing lights and sleeping rides. A story which indeed wouldn’t exist without this real-life island.