Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Love Letter to my life #21: The Road to Gerlach

(book cover)
by Joyce Wycoff 

(We know the day we were born, but most of us do not know the day we will die. This love letter to my life is written on the day I've designated as my death day, the 17th of every month, and reminds me to be grateful for my incredible life.) 

I had already drafted a different letter for this month when a virus  turned the world upside down. Conversations on Facebook went this way and that and one of my friends suggested I post some art as sort of a distraction. My mind jumped at that idea like a hungry bass after a perfect fly.

Turns out, I had just finished a 30-page photo book …  hmmm ... 30 pages … 30 days. And, there was a story involved about a place most people don’t know exists. As a matter of fact, Nevada is one of those places people hardly know exists  … other than Las Vegas, of course. 

So for the next 30 days, I’m going to post this micro story, one page every day. It’s a transformation tale about my decision to apply for an Artist in Residence position in the Black Rock Desert … some of the harshest territory in the US. I wanted to go … I didn’t want to go (not big on hot, wind, or dust). 

I know little about this part of the world and I’m not a typical candidate for a gig like this so I knew I had to somehow present myself creatively. Of course, I won’t know if I will actually get the opportunity to go until sometime in May. However, just writing this story and assembling the book turned on a new energy. Plus, we all need a bit more distraction for the next few weeks … right?

So, this is the beginning of The Road to Gerlach … The "story" is told on the  left side "black" pages and amplified by pieces of my art with snippets about its creation on the right side "gray" pages. This photo book will be part of my application for the Artist in Residence position. We'll see how it works. In the meantime, I hope it brings you some interesting thoughts during the next 30 days.

I’ll also post it on Facebook and here so if you miss a day, you can always catch up … not that it’s exactly going to be a cliff hanger. If you have any questions or comments about Gerlach, the story, the art, or anything else, please leave in the comments.

*** Inside Cover ***

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5/15/2020 Update: Following the development of the corona virus side-tracked my commitment to post The Road to Gerlach. However, you can see the entire work here in magazine format:

I was not chosen for the artist-in-residence program that stimulated the creation of this little book. I was a bit disappointed but life had moved on and I felt a bit of relief even though I'm sure it would be a grand experience. I'm sure the chosen artists will do amazing pieces of work inspired by this beautiful and intriguing land.

At some point along the way, I thought about how I would feel if I were not the artist chosen and decided that there were other projects I could get equally excited about. The world does not lack for inspiration. And, the pandemic that developed shortly after I applied for the residency turns out to be one of the most interesting, as well as confusing and tragic, experiences of my life and offers unlimited opportunities for inspiring writing and art that can connect me more deeply with myself and the world around me as I freely share whatever develops.

Everything seems to be building on my 5-year plan insights that I want to live fully in delight and what I want to do is: LEARN - CREATE - CONNECT - SHARE.

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