Camp Cushy

 Camp Cushy by Watershed 2017 by Bart Vermeulen

Camp Cushy by Watershed 2017 by Bart Vermeulen

You just never know what’s going to conjure from seemingly small things, do you.

Some years ago—okay, around 25 or so to be truthful, I met a young woman, a friend of my daughter’s, a young wild child that while I was very taken with her independent spirit, I did not want my daughter to hang with her unsupervised.

You get what I’m saying here.

I got to know her better over the next few years, came to understand more about how she came to be such a whirling dervish of a girl, and I even got to be part of encouraging her to go to college, to Goddard College to be specific, a school I had wanted to go to back when I was a whirling dervish about to graduate from high school.

We stayed in touch, more some times than others. She moved to Europe, finally settling in The Netherlands. I stayed here in Maine. I wrote her that I was finally going to Goddard myself for an MFA. She started an organization, Watershed, in Eindhoven to promote literature in all its forms. I started a company, Wide Open Writing, in the U.S. to nurture creative expression through writing, yoga and travel.

She had a child. I had a motorcycle accident.

She wrote me to say how awful and to ask if, when I recovered would I be interested in coming to Eindhoven to teach in her Watershed summer workshop, Camp Cushy. I could not imagine recovering, really, but I said yes as much out of hope and habit as anything.

Juliet and I are now in our second year of Camp Cushy. I don’t believe that either of us could have imagined this and I continue to marvel at the mysterious and circuitous routes by which we came here. This podcast is part of a Watershed project called Radio Slik.

I still don’t know where all this goes. I don’t know why I didn’t die in my accident anymore than I know why she wasn’t destroyed in the years when her life was a fucking nightmare.  I just know that now we work together bringing Camp Cushy forward, both getting to watch the unfolding.

Stay tuned, Dulcie. Stay tuned, Juliet, the conjurer says. There’s more to come.  

 Camp Cushy by Watershed 2017 by Bart Vermeulen

Camp Cushy by Watershed 2017 by Bart Vermeulen