Monday, March 23, 2009

Monk Flambé

Last Friday I applied to a residency at the The Atlantic Center for the Arts. I'd been there under the mentorship of Spalding Gray exactly 7 years ago. It was a very difficult time, partially because Spalding was suicidal, partially because I was doing a new piece about a friend who committed suicide, partially because for the first time in my life I was surrounded by a group of artists who came to hate me and partially because this arts colony is located in a swamp 7 miles from the beach (no cars) outside of New Smyrna Beach.

As I dropped off my application I wondered how much I really wanted to return. You still have to pay for room and board and transportation and I have a roommate now, so I couldn't subsidize it like I did in the past by subletting my place back home. In fact, why not just take a residency of my own where ever I please?

Then I remembered a friend did a self-imposed retreat with some monks in Santa Barbara and raved about it. That would be perfect.

I emailed him for the name of the place and details and I got back this response:

"O god, Winks. I went online to find the website and found that the place was burned down in the November fire outside Santa Barbara. Geez... awful. It was such a gorgeous place. If you want to take a look:"

Sad. But perhaps God's trying to tell me something. Why he had to burn down a monastery I'm not sure, but he's got my attention. I'm listening.

I'm just not quite sure I understand.

PS Yes, they called me "Winks" in college. A story for another day.

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