.....I had an interesting day at the Spring writing conference on Saturday. Interesting less for the two workshops that I participated in than for the fact that it was such a lovely day to be in Greensboro.
The conference was held on the campus of the University which (if all goes well!) will be granting my Master's in another year.
Now, the nature of my program is such that I am not required to set foot on campus.
And don't get me wrong - I wouldn't change that for the world! I love the fact that I can go anywhere and work on my own daily schedule. But the fact is that I enjoy visiting the campus, from time to time. Not only does it help me to feel connected to the institution but - thanks to some massive renovation - it's turning into quite an attractive place.
Outside the student union, there's a prettily landscaped area with a few benches, a swing and a verdigris statue of Minerva. I've walked past the spot a number of times and it has always looked like an inviting place to slam down a coffee and a veggie sub between classes. It's one of those spots that beckon to you through the window and makes it hard to think about anything but the upcoming lunch break.
And, on a sunny April morning, when the fringe trees and lilacs and azaleas are in bloom and you can hardly hear yourself think for dogwoods, there's really no sense at all in being indoors.
Between the morning and afternoon workshops, I sat at the feet of Minerva, drinking coffee and working crosswords. I sat in the sun for two hours and thought about absolutely nothing. There was a light breeze that carried the the sound of chimes, together with mingled fragrances of flowers, old buildings and library books. Rather than look for a clock, I listened instead for the chiming of the carillon. Synchronizing myself to campus time.
The afternoon workshop was dedicated to memoirs and the personal essay.
Outside the window, I was still able to make out Minerva, standing in a garden of fringe trees and lilacs - a place where being an artist and a student and a writer and myself could all weave together.
At least for a couple of hours, marked on the quarters by a carillon.