Massachusetts is my second home—and I am so busy, happy, and there are so many things to do that it’s the best place for me to play. That said, it’s also an exhausting adventure.
I spent the first few days in Ashland with my friend Rachael and her family. Her son Lee was very excited to show me Drumlin Farm—his favorite—a farm with lots of animals and birds-of-prey. Drumlins are little, rolling hills made from glacier paths and are often accompanied by kettles, little ponds planted by glacier water, though now-fed by rains and streams.
I spent the next few day in Boston catching up with friends. My friend Bridget and I went into the Boston Common Burying ground across from Emerson College. It was one of the first places I saw in Boston when I first visited in 2009, and the next spring I was admitted into Emerson’s graduate writing program. It wasn’t the reason I chose to go to Emerson, but it was part of Boston’s immediate enchantment.
My last day in Boston, I spent at the JFK Library and museum looking at the Ernest Hemingway manuscripts. There were first drafts and copies of thoughts scrawled and scratched into letters and margins, and then there were copies of pages—perfectly rendered—the kind of pages every writer waits for.
“You see I'm trying in all my stories to get the feeling of the actual life across and-- not just to depict life--or criticize it--but to actually make it alive. So that when you read something by me you actually experience the thing. You can't do this without putting in the bad and the ugly as well as what is beautiful. Because if it all is beautiful you can't believe it. Things aren't that way....“ --Ernest Hemingway (letter)
Later, My mom, dad, and sister met me in Hull, MA at Nantasket beach. We spent one day on the beach, watching waves and people and marveling at the Atlantic and how less than a week before we were standing in the Pacific.
And finally—I am forced to re-learn relaxation by re-learning to read—turn page after page after page, re-learning to write casually and without intent or time limit, and re-learning to watch the rest of the world pass a few minutes without me.