Monday, October 30, 2006

Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow

I was among the fortunate 50 this year to have experienced and utterly enjoyed a writer's residency at the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow, located in a pleasingly woodsy section on the historic loop of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. There, I spent two weeks during autumn-kissed October writing poetry, reveling in the quaint and Victorian town and the ecologically diverse terrain surrounding it, and completing valuable research for my writing with friendly, local experts and the resources at the town's authenic Carnegie Library.

Many writers' haven't yet heard about the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow because, unlike other colonies with decades of history and a thick coat of New England ivy, WCDH was only launched four years ago in the off-the-beaten-path Ozarks. However, once there, you might feel as I did that you are in the center of something special and the rest of what's floating around in other U.S. locales might be overly-worn and too world weary.

WCDH is the only writers' colony that specifically supports culinary writers, as well as poets, novelists and short stories writers. I stayed in the exquisite culinary suite, a former bed-and-breakfast living room, office, bedroom, bath and kitchen transformed HGTV-fashion by Renovation Style magazine and KitchenAid. The fully-stocked, state-of-the-art kitchen was my workshop to experiment with many of the items that appear in my poems. When I filled out my application several months ago, I put down that I could reasonably finish eight poems during a two-week stay. In actuality, I completed 16, and still had time to take hikes, try out new recipes, make friends and have fun in this artistically-diverse town.

Besides the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow, my recommendations for those visiting Eureka Springs: Opal Fly and the Swatters jazz/blues combo which regularly appears at Eureka Springs venues; Rogues Manor tavern, a tiny quaint bar that has a windowed view of the side of a mountain and spring, museum-style; Carnegie Library, a limestone-fronted, wood-paneled interior tiny masterpiece of a library initially funded by Andrew Carnegie; the garden next to the Crescent Hotel, where you will experience one of the best views of the breathtaking Ozark Mountains right in town; Thorncrown Chapel, a wonder of glass and wooden beams in the middle of the forest, which the American Institute of Architecture recently placed fourth on its list of top buildings of the 20th century; Fire Om Earth Studio, a fabulous place on 15 acres just outside of town where you can drop into a bellydancing or Tai Chi class for $10, or admire and purchase the owners' handmade Celtic and native-style drums, flutes and ocarinas. ◦

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What If God Was One of Us?

As Alanis Morissette sings, "What if God was one of us?" I recently attended an interfaith church service in which the leader asked the same question. I don't think he asked it in a way that begged a definitive answer, or any answer for that matter, and I think most people in the church felt comfortable with that. But I didn't feel comfortable with it, because I know the song and I feel that each line of that song strongly suggests the person of Jesus Christ. Take a look:

Song: What if God was one of us?
Bible: Psalm 8:5 For you made him a little lower than the angels, crowning him with glory and honor.

Song: Just a slob like one of us.
Bible: Isaiah 53:3 He was despised, and rejected by men, a man of suffering, and acquainted with disease.

Song: Just a stranger on the bus, trying to make his way home.
Bible: Matthew 8:20 Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."

Song: If God had a face, what would it look like?
Bible: Isaiah 53:2 He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire him.

Song: What if God was one of us?
Bible: Phillipians 2:7 But made himself no reputation, and took upon the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.

A small, but silly note: The copy editor in me just has to say..."What if God were one of us?"