The Healing Powers of the Clearfield Cottage
Submitted: December 2, 2012
Stayed: October 2012
Nestled underneath some of the highest peaks in the Smokey Mountains lies a little town outside of Asheville, NC called Leicester. Up a long gravel drive, live the artistic Ron and Rachel Clearfield. Ron plays the cello for weddings at the Vanderbilt’s famous Biltmore Estate, founded the Blue Ridge Orchestra in 1999, and serves as Conductor for the Appalachian Festival Orchestra and Asheville Youth Orchestra. Rachel is an artist educated in England at the Newcastle College of Art and the Manchester College of Art, and has shown her work at many art galleries since her move to America in 1976. Out of a kind-hearted will to share their transcendental view of life, the Clearfields created a seemingly magical cottage aside their horse pasture.
The most amazing benefit of staying in the Clearfield Cottage is the distinct view of the Smokey Mountains. As John Berger says in Ideology, “Seeing comes before words.” Though he is referring to the growing skills of an infant, his simple sentence also describes the importance of experiencing the relieving effects of seeing colorful mountains and landscapes. For those that cannot see the amazing views firsthand, Rachel has original and digital copies of oil paintings that portray the beautiful surroundings of her home. Art critic Sylvia Penn says, The diversity of details, the patterns, the intricate rhythms, presented in a visionary style, add up to haunting landscapes of inner experiences, not soon forgotten.” Penn also believes that the inner experiences of seeing the stunning mountain vistas are a powerful healing tool.
The art of music is another amazing experience that the Clearfields want to share. Ron’s skilled reputation and professional demeanor result directly from his broad spectrum of work. He says that making a living as an artist is not easy. It may not always be a lucrative business, but the constant therapy of playing and listening to instrumental music is priceless. As Maxine Greene wrote in Releasing the Imagination, “To tap into imagination is to become able to break with what is supposedly fixed and finished, objectively and independently real.” When Ron plays the Cello or conducts an orchestra, everything real around him disappears. In addition, the number of hearts and minds that Ron has touched may be infinite. His contribution to the Asheville Youth Orchestra has certainly helped children attain their dreams of becoming musicians. In addition, the Mozart Effect helps members of his Orche
Families with Teenagers,
Families with Young Children,
People with Disabilities,
Owner's Response: Hi Thomas,
what a wonderful review! It reads like a great short story. Good history and background about Rachel and I, the area, and property. Honestly and sincerely, if we ever need a gifted tour guide, you'll be the first we call! Seriously, we appreciate your time to inform future guests of the depth of the Clearfield Cottage experience.
Ron and Rachel
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