There is a legend about Boulder. A curse. In short, all who step foot upon its grounds are blessed/cursed to return and make that land their home.
I lived, worked, and struggled in Boulder for years as a graduate student, and then, as a writer/waitress. I left chasing mountain streams and the silence that can be found buried in the deepest valleys and highest elevations.
Then I came back, again and again. To visit.
There is a silent chaos that permeates these streets, playful contradictions, a diversity and a unity. There is magic in these hills. I’m not sure what it does or says. I’m not sure what it means, but it inspires my hands to burn, furiously, into the page.
I love Crested Butte, but Boulder will always be home. It is here that I found my voice. That I spent countless nights punch-drunk on boxed wine and bootleg whiskey discussing the contradictions of literature and poetry with strangers on the edges of Pearl Street. It was here that I peddled my words, making rent by selling language and performing it for strangers among the bricks and granite blocks. It was here that I discovered the joy of movement, that I ran for the sheer joy of feeling my body play – it was here that I trained for an ultra marathon. It was here that I discovered my passion for stone and snow, and it was here that I rediscovered my passion for language and the stories, the people, it remembered.
These reflections create questions of space and location. As a writer, I create space, I create locations. I inhabit them. But there is an important distinction that must be made, as a writer. Do I write the space, the object? Or do I write the space that that object displaces? As I move from one moment, one inspiration, one story to the next, how will I remember the journey? How will I imagine and re-imagine it?
Space and time, the question of architecture, the construction of a moment and the reimagining of a memory, of what was – its an invasion of the present – the future is the past repeating, endlessly in new shapes, new forms of displacement. I dream of roads twisting back and touching themselves in time.
For the weekend, I am back. Drowning in ink. Heavy with the weight of the space that I have displaced, and in the process, remembered.
I write into the sidewalk, into the brick streets I once called home, the granite walls that I carved into my hands, and the blue skies that first called me.
Who am I beyond the space I inhabit? That is, the space that I create within each moment?
The challenge of a writer, to tell a story.