Back at the Ranch

Indira Ganesan, Ocean with jasmine plant, 2014

Indira Ganesan, Ocean with jasmine plant, 2014


The need for a place to settle down, sigh into the space, and make plans to leave and return are part of the appeal of “home.”  Luckily, I have another year to hang my hat to remain in the same place.  As a writer or artist, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown provides temporary low-cost housing to Former Fellows to move back to town and produce work.  Five artists do just that, writing and painting in a beach community known for supporting the arts since the time of the Provincetown Players and Eugene O’Neill.  Readers of this blog know how I applied for a lottery, and had my name drawn out of a hat to live here, how I packed out and moved from my beloved community in Boulder because I no longer had a job.  Many times the first year and second year,  I wondered if I had made the right choice.  I planted a garden, admired the landscape, watched my novel get published, began a new job, fostered kittens and their mom, lost a friend to cancer, and struck a deer with my car.  By the time 2014 rolled around, I was waiting to hear from various job applications, grants, and the Work Center.  The spring passed in a blur of waiting and uncertainty, as I wondered what plans I could make for the fall, if I could make plans.


Indira Ganesan, weather watchers

Indira Ganesan, weather watchers

I raked Craigslist looking for apartments in Boulder, in Cambridge, In Boston.  I looked at  Princeton, and wondered if I should move back home to my aging parents.  Several bored nights, I wondered if I should pull up stakes for England, or France, or Italy, go to India.  Behind all this question was the unspoken thought: where can I write?  People say one can write anywhere and at any time, but I think a writer needs an anchor, a place so familiar and  unbothered that one can lose oneself in the words.  Hotel rooms work, if they have a view, but  I have never had more than a few days day at one.  I have to live somewhere for three years before I trust it enough to venture forth with cohesion onto  the page.  I don’t mean I do not write at all; I write constantly, but bits and pieces., but the long narrative, for me, requires me to trust my environment completely.


Just a few days ago, I found out I had another year in my home, a delight.  It is an earned year, a year to write, a year to teach  a course on American Women Writers, a subject close to my heart, and whatever else might fall my way or I reach for with aim.  It is a year to contemplate the next move.  A year to see if any dahlias other than the one so far will sprout, a year to  water the plans and plants. A year for the cats to turn another year over, and a year for me to appreciate every day of it.

Indira Ganesan, So Comfortable, 2014

Indira Ganesan, So Comfortable, 2014

3 thoughts on “Back at the Ranch

  1. Canio's

    Ahhhh, wonderful news! Settle in and soak in that ocean mist. We vow to come visit and welcome you back to Sag Harbor, too. Gardens, a gift to the future, now one you’ve given yourself!



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