Friday, August 27, 2010

take me away to yaddo

Water Lily at Yaddo

On a recent visit to my sister-in-law's house in Saratoga Springs, NY, I had the overwhelming pleasure of being introduced to Yaddo. Yaddo is a 400 acre retreat (mansion, gardens and far stretching grounds) founded in 1900, where artists of all sorts come to live in a supportive environment and enjoy uninterrupted time and space to create. Some famous past residents of Yaddo include: Milton Avery, James Baldwin, Leonard Bernstein, Truman Capote, Aaron Copland, Langston Hughes, Ted Hughes, Alfred Kazin, Ulysses Kay, Jacob Lawrence, Sylvia Plath, and Virgil Thomson.

The Trask family bequeathed this home to future artists, having lost all four of their heirs. They envisioned the lawns being roamed by artistic talents from all walks of life simply "creating, creating, creating." I have to say this vision is undeniably beautiful and speaks to me in an inexplicable way. For all my life I have wandered the earth collecting places to add to my list of inspiring environments to create in. I am deeply drawn to and intensely feel the creative power and stimulating yet supportive energy that dances around certain coordinates. So I certainly believe what people say when they talk about the land on which Yaddo stands having mystical creative power.

I have gone on many retreats in my life to allow my artistic juices to climax to a truly potent level, whether this has been far away in the Berkshires, down the street sitting by a river in an empty forest, or in the confines of my own home with all the doors locked and electronic devices turned off for an entire weekend. So, naturally, places like Yaddo appeal to me.

I don't anticipate a time when I won't need to turn off the world and tap into my connection to something create. Magically, I am set to wed a man who is a passionate writer and musician so I feel certain that we will carve out a life that supports our efforts to cultivate these spaces of creation. Hopefully we will move to a place very soon that fills us with the liveliness and inspiration to fully realize our artistic dreams.

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