Sleeping with Giants

A photo I didn't take, but an accurate representation all the same.

A photo I didn't take, but an accurate representation all the same.

Last night I fell asleep cradled in the arm of the mountains.

My incredible fortune has granted me the opportunity to spend four days at the Banff Centre for the 2009 Opera Colloquium, and this place is pure magic. The Centre is a compound for artists who come for residencies and retreats to create and workshop their pieces. Imagine a small university campus devoted to creation. All of the people I’m meeting are devoted to their art, and are passionate about their work. For the next three days we’re sharing ideas about creating new opera, and the importance of opera in our modern age.

I’ve never been to Alberta. Yesterday I learned that there is nothing as beautiful as the Rocky Mountains. At least not in my experience of the world so far. Their majesty and magnitude makes me feel so safe and serene. It is a visual reminder that the world has existed for lifetimes before me, and will continue to exist long after I’m gone, her landscape ever shifting and subtly changing. I find this deeply comforting.

The air here is spectacular. With each inhalation my body feels cleaner, and more alive. Despite the cool weather, and my inappropriate packing, I want to spend all of my time outside. There are wild animals everywhere, and I can’t wait to encounter them on my walks. There is also a very famous hot spring that we intend to visit.

Meals are shared in a beautiful restaurant made entirely of glass, so you can enjoy the mountainous vistas as you dine. I’m told that the food is fantastic, and nutritious, and it’s served buffet style, so I don’t have to eat anything I don’t want.

Last night we were treated to a fabulous dinner at the home of the program director of the centre. If the food there was any indication, then I’m most certainly in good hands.

I could live here, easily. Maybe not forever, but certainly devoting a couple of years of my life to this place would be incredible. They have a creative writing workshop that happens here twice a year. It’s two weeks long, and I think I might apply for next spring. I can imagine myself here, alone, sipping coffee on the deck in the morning, wrapped in polar fleece, and pouring my heart into my laptop.

This morning I have a breakfast date with my boss. She’s a fabulous woman, and I think these next few days will be a great bonding experience for us.

The best part of this all-expense paid trip…I get to stay on for the week to visit near by friends and their beautiful new baby.

Beauty of this magnitude makes me feel like the people I love best in this world are closer to my heart than ever. I feel like an explorer, gathering samples and stories to return home with, so that everyone can taste my adventure.

Thank you Universe.