I am a woman with wings. No ordinary bird but a mythological one, one you might meet in your dreams. I have no name, I am spirit.
I choose to retreat…from life…into life. I choose to rest and read and write by myself. I plan to walk and talk and eat and drink with these other special women choosing to retreat.
Retreat: a place of refuge, the act of withdrawing. But another definition is “to treat again.” I will keep this in mind (and heart) throughout this long weekend—especially in Girls’ Café!
I have faced sorrow this year: my best friend Janice nearly died of a stroke and heart attack. Now in a nursing home, she will never live independently again. Dec 27th she went to the emergency ward. Since then her family and friends have made her our mission. Janice is just now getting out of the building for something other than dialysis three times a week. She went to the woods! She visited her home of 15 years! Now she’s on an eating binge—taking us to Chinese restaurants, Japanese ones, a Frisch’s Big Boy, a vegan burger. We are closer than ever. She has been my teacher of life and death and what we really need.
Tuesday—yes, this past Tuesday—I sat on the floor of a vet’s office with a dog’s head in my lap. That dog was Bodhi, a Norwegian elkhound mix. That dog and I lived and walked and sat out on the deck together for thirteen years. When his back legs gave out, I bought a ramp. But when his front legs couldn’t hold him up anymore, there was nothing left to do. May we all be so lucky to leave this world being petted by a loved one with our head in someone’s lap.
I look forward to joy—when I least expect it for the rest of my life! I have much to look forward to…..teaching more classes at WWfaC, holding a circle for these amazing women sharing so profoundly; releasing a set of my poems to the world (an intention made at last year’s retreat); planning a trip back to India with the excuse of co-authoring a book with Rashma…staying with her family then us taking off on a jaunt…playing tourist, drinking chai, talking and writing.
Talking and writing. Writing often is talking to oneself, at least for me. It is vital to hear one’s self, to be quiet long enough to do so. At this place of refuge, I welcome my voice to say what it needs to say. I am a woman with wings. I have no name, I am spirit.