Holden Voices: Blog

Poems, stories, and reflections, written by faculty, staff, and volunteers currently serving in the Village.

EMMA CLARK: On Expansion and Blue Fog

May 13, 2020 at 12:00 PM

Day 58

Last month, I finally hunkered down and started a process that sometimes feels blasphemous to speak of at Holden. I started to apply for jobs.

Although I’ve written cover letters and resumes before, there are elements of this job search that are so very strange. I can’t receive phone calls, we are in the middle of a global pandemic, and our internet is 939 times slower than the average connection.

But perhaps strangest of all is trying to explain Holden and my job in a way that accurately represents why this experience matters. How does one describe what it means to be able to identify the water bottles of every person in your community? Why does it matter that you spent a year learning the joy of mountain rain or the impossible existence of blue fog?

The thing I keep on coming back to is the idea of expansion. That Holden is a place where we can press pause on the currents of our lives for long enough to expand. Where we can learn how to properly dice an onion for the first time or the surprising satisfaction of seeing a carpet cleaner empty its chunky contents.

But perhaps most importantly, this expansion and the accompanying failures make things that require taking larger steps outside of our comfort zone—like writing an article about my emotions (gasp!)—possible in a way they weren’t before.


Emma Clark is Librarian and Media Lead at Holden Village. This column was originally published on May 13, 2020 in a daily newsletter, "The Quarantine Quarter," which is compiled by various staff members and sent to all Villagers.

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