5- Helene Wurlitzer, the Freedom of Doing Nothing, The Weather, the Other Artists

Wake up. Sunny, icy outside, sparkling.

The strangeness of being here, far from my French life. American life alien to me. And yet not intending to integrate as I will be here only three months.

Helene Wurlitzer gave her house and all her fortune so that artists could live for a time free from all obligation to produce. Absolutely free to sleep all the time, to read, to wander, to take or not to take photographs.

A freedom that I have in Nice, but here it really takes shape in a place and at a time dedicated to it. The presence of seven other people, who share the same immense privilege, still reinforces this realization.

Each in a small house, all different, with common spaces where one can become aquainted.

Arrived late Thursday, met one painter and two writers. Only really spoken with Carolyn. I rather like this discretion and am curious to see how the relationships among us will develop. Next thursday, gathering over coffee!

I already percieve how it will be perhaps destabilizing to be given official authorization for having no obligations. This opens up a host of questions of the kind: what have I come here to do? What will I gain from this new opportunity? This “vacation”, will it allow me to go in directions I have often talked about without having fully gone there?

I also sense the fear that nothing at all could come out of the time which we have at our disposal. An underlying sense of the possibility of returning without anything accomplished.
Probably why I write every evening a few lines and review the photographs taken.

It will also be particularly valuable here, as opposed to feeling this latent anxiety of accomplishment, to allow time to take its course. The banality of the days I have passed here strikes me when I re-read and look at what I have done, but it doesn’t at all displease me. Perhaps it is thanks to the snow: it blurs the topography, the prominent features, the colors, irregularities, it reduces everything to the simple passing of days, transforming the world marked out through unfamiliar territory, gleaming white in the sunlight or subdued by the grey, silent sky.

Downy night coming.

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