Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First day in Banff

Arriving at the Banff Centre of the Arts, at least if you're in the Leighton Artist's Colony, involves forays all over the campus to check in, to move into your room in residence, to get your "artist's card" (which is also your meal card), your Banff National Park sticker for your car, and then wandering off into the woods to see if you can find your cabin.  I'm in a small cabin designed by architect Fred Valentine with a composer in mind.  So it has a piano and wonderful acoustics for my guitar.  I didn't bring any piano music with me, but I'm hoping I can borrow some from the library.  From my little hut, I don't see the mountains; what I've been watching out my huge windows today are wind, light, a single marten who, like an acrobat, trotted along one deadfall log after another.

What I love about writer's retreats is that it somehow reminds you of how many hours there are in the day.  I was working  by 8, and then nipped out to the Banff townsite around 10:30 for food to make myself breakfasts and lunches.  Even with that errand and a brief nap I completed and revised a chapter I hadn't quite finished at St. Peter's and got good work done on a poem.  So what happens to time during our ordinary days?  Can I bottle this discipline and take it home with me?

Today it's cloudy, and the mountains seem to have quietly closed in on themselves.  The forest is quiet, expecting rain perhaps.  


  1. I love the windows! I've always wanted a room/office with huge windows to look out of while I write. I can't stand writing in enclosed spaces.

  2. I love the windows too. When I took the photographs, it was cloudy, but because the space has great lighting and all that warm wood, it didn't feel like a grey day.

  3. I've seen that studio while in Banff for other writing events and I always wondered what it would be like to work there. Now I know...