I am at my laptop the last evening of the writing retreat. I am not far from home although others are. Distance is a funny thing–it can be geographical or mental. Eleven women trained by Mary Pierce Brosmer as teachers in Women Writing for a Change practices are here at the Transfiguration Spirituality Center in Glendale, Ohio. It is a (usually) annual retreat. I missed last year so I was happy to retreat this year.
We begin and end in a large circle, just as we do in classes. In between writing and discussion we eat, are in small groups getting and giving feedback, did I say eat?, and conclude our evenings with wine and laughter. We share stories from our lives, joke, touch on Big Questions. Some of us have known one another for years, decades even. It’s a sisterhood on many levels. We have shared in ways you can when you are intentional on a retreat.
I really just wanted to have this experience documented–until the next retreat, I hope.
I’ve been AWOL from my blog for a few weeks. I had a head cold for two weeks and realized, finally, that I needed to quit fighting it and allow myself to rest. The first thing I am grateful for is that it was just a cold and not allergies.
The second thing I’m grateful for is that I got to teach two classes this summer. One was an in person class at Women Writing for (a) Change. I taught the Wednesday morning summer class in our building in ‘the heart of Silverton.’ Of the twelve women, six were brand new to WWfaC. What a privilege to turn them on to the processes of this community. The other class was an online class through Catherine of Siena Virtual College. Ten women from all over the world gathered six Saturday mornings (EST) and shared fastwrites and readbacks. Amazing! Did I mention? I got paid, too! This summer proved the saying ‘Do what you love and the money will follow.’
I am also grateful for these past few days when we’ve had a glimpse of my favorite season — Fall. I have made excuses to be outside to feel the breezes. Life just feels good! I hope it does for you as well, dear readers!
I got the phone call first thing this morning: no meal delivery today. The coordinator had a meeting and had the Thursday volunteers deliver Friday meals. Hurray! I was relieved for I’d awakened with that damned morning stiffness and had to prepare for the online class I’d be teaching Saturday morning.
So I’ve had a luxurious day focusing on the creative writing class I’ll be teaching/facilitating via Catherine of Siena Virtual College website. I’ll be using Women Writing for (a) Change’s processes [and giving full credit, of course] but we’ll hold our circle in cyberspace. I took backyard deck breaks, talking on the phone to several people. I read, had my decaf, looked at my mail. My friend Vic invited me to come over and hang out with her and Nick later, if I wanted but I’m content.
seems like such a boring word
but actually when you are really content,
everything is just right with your world
I spent an hour this afternoon recording a girl and a teenager from summer camps at Women Writing for (a) Change. They were both very special. While the teenager wrote mostly about her parents, with anger and love, the middle school girl wrote more upbeat stuff. Both will be posted on the podcast page of http://www.womenwriting.org. What I came away with is the power of women’s words, regardless of our age. I was especially amazed that these two, so young, knew themselves as well as they did and confidently shared with the world.
you two are braver than you know.
sure, it was scary to see that microphone at first
but you went flying above it, shooting stars that you are.
Someone phoned me a little bit ago and said she hoped she wasn’t interrupting a 4th of July gathering. No, I reassured her. I told her if I sounded a little out of it it was because I was still ‘in my head.’ I’d been on the computer, thinking, and writing much of the afternoon.
This, to me, was a rich and blessed day. I have plenty of friends and family if I had wanted to track down a social gathering for the holiday. No . . . I was using my time to prepare for an online class I’ll be teaching next week. Ten women from all over the world will share words online in real time. I look forward to seeing what this experience will be like. A year and a half ago, Karen T. Waters (Portland, Oregon) and I created the first online class using Women Writing for (a) Change processes through Catherine of Siena Virtual College. She’d then taught a class. This time I’ll be the teacher. While it is exciting, it is also a challenge.
women from different perspectives
sharing our stories online
what an honor to be holder of this circle
It’s hard to believe I have written 100 pieces since I started this blog. I had a blog elsewhere several years ago but bought a house, retired, and sold the old house, making me too busy to tend to a blog properly. This time I’m inspired. Part of it is my challenge of writing a three line poem a day for 108 days. I got this idea from Puerhan via Twitter (see blogroll on the right for his blog). Part of it is being in a writing class regularly at Women Writing for (a) Change. I’ve been a student in Kathy Wade’s Tuesday morning class several quarters now. I am lined up to teach the Wednesday morning summer class. I am also lined up to facilitate an online writing course through Catherine of Siena Virtual College. Even getting onto Twitter for brief 140 character conversations counts. I am definitely attracting writing opportunities into my life!
writing on a regular basis
is one way to keep in touch;
the pen or keyboard acts as a lightning rod.
The Tuesday morning writing class at Women Writing for (a) Change had a good turnout for our public readaround. We had a great time sharing some of our writing pieces from the quarter.
I noticed a theme of humor this time. Sure, there were pieces that mentioned abusive relationships, dementia of parents and partners, and other sad realities. But, overall, there was a lot of laughter. I read my blog post on “Comedy as a Cosmic Act.” I’d like to publicly proclaim: I love my small group!
rain is attacking the tender lettuce leaves outside in my garden.
thunder is causing my shepherd to bark with crazy bravery.
i sit here with a pleasant sigh after a morning well spent.