I found a new path to walk the other day, another fire road at the edge of the National Seashore. I don’t think of Provincetown as being forested, so a walk through the woods felt delightful. I’m not sure what prompted the thought, but an hour or so into my walk it occurred to me that none of the trees in this forest are much older than I am. Perhaps this is why I don’t think of Provincetown as forested? My biases about the landscape are imprinted from childhood, when these same trees weren’t much more than saplings. It’s interesting to consider how much more of the dunes will be reclaimed by forest in another fifty years.
This morning, preparing for my RISD graduate seminar, I’m reviewing Carol Becker’s marvelous essay, “Countervaillance: Educating Creative Practitioners,” from her volume, Thinking in Place: Art, Action, and Cultural Production. In it she writes:
“Accepting failure at a personal or societal level allows us to create different situations out of which we might better actualize our intent. These understandings emerge through process — through the space allowed for transformation and evolution, for the experimentation and criticality that, while leading us to admit failure, might just take us to where we want to go.”
In a sense I cannot think of a better elegy for the last four years of my experience.