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.