Some Final Thoughts On and Photos From North Carolina

Below is a photo slideshow with pics from around the John C. Campbell Folk School grounds and around the area where the cabin I rented was. The drive from my cabin to the school was 4.7 miles one way through bucolic landscapes framed by mountains. In short, one of the loveliest commutes one could have on the way to a marbling/bookmaking class...or ANY kind of class for that matter. And my "cabin" (a modern, two bedroom, two bath, loft home with full kitchen and fireplace) was up along a ridge surrounded by woods with nice views of the mountains as well. It also had a huge and inviting wrap-around porch with comfy rocking chairs which I took advantage of every second I was home. In the mornings and late evenings, I saw a mama and her baby deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, Oliver (the neighbor's adorable dog), and lots and lots of song birds and hummingbirds. The cabin also had FIOS. Unbelievably fast internet. And I mean unbelievably fast.

To be on the Folk School campus during the day also felt inviting, not to mention energizing as well as refreshing. There's something satisfying about being amongst people who are taking classes because they are passionate or simply curious about an art form. Perhaps it's just the mere fact that they are there by choice that is so appealing. They could be at home watching TV or surfing the web or buying things at Walmart. But instead, for whatever reason or reasons, they decided to take a class at the Folk School. And for a full week. Just for sh*ts and giggles.

It's always hard for me to articulate my marbling experiences (which challenges any notion I may have that I am a decent writer). I'm not sure why this is. Maybe a picture really is worth a thousand words and after a week of creating sheet after sheet after marvelous marbled sheet, there's not much left to say. The tank, the paints, and the papers speak for themselves. Or perhaps marbling is still so completely soul consuming for me that it's impossible to emerge from my little studio sessions at home or a week-long class such as this with anything left to give. Or maybe it's just one of those things that I hold so close to me, that I can't talk about it. I remember this happening after my month-long New Zealand volunteer experience. After my return people wanted to "hear all about it" but I just couldn't bring myself to share anything significant with them (beyond the obligatory, "It was great! Lots of fun!"). Actually, what I think I was going through was that I feared that by telling my story, I would lose it. It would no longer be the story as I wanted to see it. And I didn't want to look at it any other way. In other words, it was MY experience. "Go get your own," is what I really wanted to say to people. And that's how I feel about this recent marbling excursion. If you want to know what it was like, you're just going to have to go do it yourself because this moment--the class, the school, the whole trip--is mine.

That being said, I will tell you this: it was great and lots of fun!