Wednesday, July 10, 2024

A few people missing are from the photo, but here are most of us on the porch, getting set for last night's participant reading . . . which was magnificent. It was a giddy night, as reading nights should be, and after an afternoon downpour, we were able to set the lectern up so each reader could gaze straight into the lake, with its sunset colors just beginning to cluster among the tree shadows, with the kingfishers flying and the loons diving and the battered clouds unrolling across the sky like fish scales.

Today is the last day of the conference proper. At noon we'll say farewell to a few pals, and then we'll move forward into the writing retreat--a day and half devoted entirely to reading, writing, and experiment.

I am tired, but I am not exhausted, not wrung out. Though I've been working nonstop and not sleeping all that well, this place has been an embrace. No rushing around, no fixing anything, no panic. The exterior comforts--good bed, good food, good lake--have been remarkable.

On the far side of the lake, the low curve of the Appalachians rises into view. Stride left and grapple with the Hundred Mile Wilderness and the daunting double crest of Katahdin. Stride right and the White Mountains hoist themselves into the clouds. The Great North Woods cradles us in this small bowl of lake and village.

I am so grateful to be here.

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