Monday, October 18, 2010

Heading to the Headlands

I'm fresh out of last night's dream and I have to share its sweetness with you all: I dreamed it was my first day of high school (I know!!!) and I was heading into photography class again!

My teacher, Jim, was there - I remember I was wearing a pretty dress (like the one I wore on my first day of graduate school) and I thought, I'll have to wear an apron in the darkroom to keep the mess away! Then, I realized, oh! the times they have-a-changed...we're digital now! There are no chemicals, ha, no worries, hee! (Keep in mind, in real time now, this is absolutely reminiscent of my little self - we're talking pre-school - when I dressed in impeccably pressed floral frocks on a daily basis - thus making it a challenge to get my hands dirty - not like I wanted to back then...)

Back to the dream life, I am suddenly out of the darkroom and heading out to the court in a basketball jersey. It was then that I realized this is DEFINITELY not happening and alas the alarm went off.

Back to earth. I never did play sports, but I did enjoy photography class and I know why I had this dream. On San Francisco's rainy yesterday and after a deliciously cozy brunch at Outerlands with Liz and Laura, we headed over the Golden Gate Bridge and into Marin. After a tarp-covered jaunt to a lighthouse that ended up being closed, we found ourselves at the Marin Headlands Center for the Arts. They were having their Fall Open House and, also, my former teacher (and one of my favorite Bay Area poets) Denise Newman was one of the readers in their poetry reading.

I have often passed the Headlands Center for the Arts while on my bike cruising down to Rodeo Beach. I had a vague concept of the place: an artist colony of sorts where people come to practice, explore, and refine their chosen discipline, which ranges from poetry, to woodwork, to dance. Other than quietly coveting the concept of having an artist's studio myself in an inspirational landscape such as the Marin Headlands, I knew very little else about this place. On this rainy day, however, I actually got to slow down and finally enjoy what was inside those mysterious white buildings.

Luscious green landscape fielding up, every which way...

...hidden staircases taking you to the artists' open studios tucked away in the attic...

The artists' studios blew me away, as did the architecture and ambiance of the actual buildings. Before the reading, we caught the tail end of a dance performance where the dancers flung their bodies around with a trembling kind of control.

Everywhere you looked there was something of an artifact in your view. Looking outside the windows, as the rain poured down, I felt a true sense of coziness and security within - among these artists and thinkers, sensitive to life and their work, what could go wrong?

This room was my favorite! It was filled with all the treasures, props and tools leftover by residents of the past. A kind of closet of archives. It resembled some of the studios I saw, although most of the studios had the kind of organized clutter only a minimalist can achieve - the perfect amount of shells and rocks on that table, the lone feather on this one, and the mason jar, of course, empty save the tea bag.

Back to my dream and why I had it! I miss being an artistic creator the way I was in photography class. Visiting the Open Studios day at the Headlands Center for the Arts inspired me to be more open when it comes to art. It reminded me of how important it is to branch out in order to enhance my personal practice. It also reminded me of how important it is to embrace and explore other people's art while pursing my own. Read more, write more. Don't forget to get my hands dirty and then the dress...


  1. megan! i love the lessons you learn/conclusions you come to. always so thoughtful and relevant. thank you for sharing!!

  2. You being YOU is a work of art. A very beautiful one indeed. love you.