This was my desk a year ago, when I spent a month at the MacDowell Colony, an artists’ colony in New Hampshire and, I suspect, the most incredible colony in the entire country. My studio was much, much bigger than my apartment in Manhattan. There was a chandelier that couldn’t fit in this photo. Sometimes I paced the large red carpet in the middle of the studio, trying to find my next line. Then it would come and I’d rush behind the desk to write it down. Also, there were spiders, and I was afraid to sleep in the total silence at night—I missed the horns honking and bar noise of Manhattan—but I look at this image now and remember only how productive I was. Will I be that productive again?
My desk now is at my writing spot in New York City, a borrowed space with a view of the desk’s own partition, traffic noise seeping up, not a tree in sight. I should be writing now, but I am posting this.
MacDowell seems like a fantastical thing that happened to someone else.