'Prepare to be immersed in the heat and vibrancy of Florida's natural world, full of such sensual detail that to read it is to breathe it in.' -Jo Shapcott [review of Greyhound Night Service]

Transitions of a Resident

In my third week at Hambidge, I can tell that I’ve changed gears: from happy-to-be-here energy where everything on the grounds was new and needed to be fully explored, to a get-down-to-serious-work energy now. 

The changeover of Residents here at Hambidge happens in a cyclical way that sees lots of overlap. Every Sunday, those who are leaving pack up and go, often after a goodbye evening meal or get together with the other Residents the night before. Then comes the lull of Monday where everything goes all slack water—no one going out, no one coming in, no lovely cook here to feed us. On Tuesday morning there is the slightly edgy anticipation of the newcomers who arrive after lunch and who are met by the rest of us at their first evening meal that night.

Depending on how many weeks or months you are here, depends on when and with whom you changeover. Tonight it is only me and the (fantastic) ceramicist Martha Cook from our own incoming group left. And it's all a bit weird being one of the only ones remaining.

Four new people have arrived to take the place of four others who I’ve spent the past two weeks with. Although great to have new faces and new discussions ahead of me, at dinner tonight I found myself really missing the others who I have gotten to know, whose work I have seen as it developed, whose company I have kept on walks and on late night chaperone trips back to my cabin in the woods.

But with this incoming energy, my creative drive has focused in the past two days and I’ve managed to finish one of the two major projects I came here to tackle. A needed transition, even if it means that I am now looking ahead to my own departure soon. 

And as I return to my cabin each evening, after the new conversations I know I’ll have, after the new names and faces I’ll undoubtedly be thankful to have met, I will look at this lovely poster that was left for me by the previous resident of my cabin, (with whom my time here partly crossed over), the artist and writer Mara Lefebvre. Thank you so much Mara for your words and thoughts and the little treasures left behind. I will leave some of my own for the resident who will come after me.