Art School Dorms Are A Good Thing

Because sometimes you walk out of your room and this is happening.

(turn volume up)

And somehow the auto-pilot track of a daily routine stops. Somehow I can recognize myself in what someone else is doing — that they too are practicing, making, working in similar yet diverse ways. With a different instrument, perhaps. On this particular day while teaching in a summer session in Philadelphia,  I breathed with a little more life knowing that a guy living downstairs from me was also so deep into his own work that he found a tiny corner in a stairwell so he could hear himself better through the cavernous cement echo. So that the notes from his guitar and his throat could reverberate back to him and he would be able to know what he was doing with a little more clarity.

Like standing in front of a mirror.

It’s been 17 years since I first moved into an Art School Dorm for a summer. I remember when I arrived on campus there was a guy with a green mohawk playing the bagpipes on the front lawn. I knew I was in the right place.