Women who have been residents at Holly House, some for as little as a week, others for three or four, have found the time productive in many ways. Their voices resonate with the value of solitude and time away from the everyday, focusing on their work.
Listen to them …
Carol Pulitzer, Writer — “I thought I was coming here to write and do research on publishing as I said. But something much more momentous occurred. I met someone new, me. I introduced myself to myself. Major!”~~More
Rhonda Davis, Writer & Visual Artist — “I did not realize there were so many shades of green on the trees, the moss, the texture of the different ferns. The sounds of the birds. Banana slugs – love them. I know everybody hates them. The first night I was here, the next morning I had a banana slug on the porch so I fed it. They are cold and slimy and at the same time like a cat’s tongue. I did not realize how dense the woods are and how loud the silence is.
There are things to discover here.”~~More
Lisa Richards — “What most inspires my work is my commitment to my loved ones who died. I have a commitment to them for the rest of my life; to not only honor their lives but, to share their story and everything I am learning about what they endured and went through in their lifetimes that led them to make such a horrific decision. It’s a decision people make when they don’t feel they have other viable choices. When even one person on our planet feels compelled to end their life, I feel all of us need to work together to change the world. It’s not just about mental illness. It’s about a world that influences all of its inhabitants. ~~More
Darlene Zimbardi, Writer — “We all share experiences and help others through their journey. Maybe someone reads something that I wrote that will help them through whatever they are going through. Writing is also a good way to process things within myself. I could write a great piece and may never do anything with it. But I settled myself and sorted it out.” ~~More
Emily Holt, Novelist and Poet — “I worked one morning and then went into Shelton for blackberry pie. I had coffee with Marilyn (Hypatia volunteer), which was very nice. On the way back I stopped at Walker Point Park and went swimming. I used to have the habit of whenever having the urge –when I was near a body of water that wasn’t too dangerous – to go swimming. For the past couple of years, I haven’t wanted that as much. It was good to be able to want that again. It’s seems rather metaphorical. I can’t articulate – sitting on the beach, reading poetry and I just wanted to jump into the water. It’s freeing to want to jump into the water.” ~~More
Courtney Estevenin, Artist — “My residency was about finding value in my work, finding that I am capable, finding that I can make decisions, finding that I can see what I need to see. Not having any distractions, not having anyone I can go to, not having anyone to ask, provided me with this occasion for this self-discovery. . . . I am satisfied with what I have accomplished during my residency. I have learned that I can hear and respond to my own ‘inner artist’s voice.'” ~~More
Laura Snyder, Writer — “I like when I get in that groove, where I can write just non-stop. I think that is very satisfying. It’s like you push through and you are in this place where it is all gravy. And that’s a wonderful area to be in. I found that here. Where you can just write and you are not thinking about the next thing. The creative process is amazing when it works. . . . Here, there’s uninterrupted time. I can work all day and just have a sandwich if I want and just keep going. I go to bed whenever I want. That’s lovely, that’s audacious.” ~~More
Shannon Camlin Ward, Writer — “The night I arrive, Elspeth passes, so this time, it seems I have wandered into someone’s death. It feels as if I am arriving as the curtain falls on a great play—one I have never seen—the audience still standing in reverential ovation, then shuffling out slowly and leaving me alone with the set: a charming cabin in the woods alongside the house of a generous scholar who made it her mission to provide other women with a creative sanctuary. The stage is still cast in the quiet spell of its absent heroine, and I am surrounded by what she left behind: shelves of books inscribed with heartfelt thanks, paintings, a sculpture, various drawings and prints, journals penned full of poems, musings, and sketches from previous residents, and a handmade box filled with remembrances of those who helped her create this place. A soft, but almost constant rain, chimes through the trees for the next two weeks, shedding white petals from the blackberry brambles and swelling the fruit to a deep red on its way to sweet.” ~~More