This is what I wrote the morning after I got home from California. I went to Commonweal, a retreat center in Bolinas, for a workshop with Francis Weller. We did a lot of writing, and reading out loud in a small group. There was drumming and movement and some wonderful songs and chants. Sunday afternoon we did a grief ritual, which was very intense. I will probably do a blog post about it.
Home. Second cup of proper tea. Dog next to me. Of course now I’m on California time. Don’t need to do anything but rest and digest.
I did it! I did it!! I got myself out there and back and I was present for the whole workshop.
I had a moment yesterday when I thought “I didn’t do anything at the workshop, I didn’t get anywhere.” Then I remember — that’s how I felt after dance camp, too. The theme was “change” and we did sequences of dances on that theme. We also did exercises around what we needed to give up, what we wanted, what we intended. But I didn’t feel like I had “gotten anywhere.” Well, as Francis would say, “That’s not the point.” I understand that I have set a process in motion and now I have to wait, without interfering, for it to work its intention into my life. The same is true of Dance Camp. I was disappointed afterward that “nothing had happened.” Then I comforted myself that most of the work is below consciousness. “Seeing that a process has been set in motion,” which I just saw today, is more than comforting, it’s trusting the process. That I can put myself in the right place, open my mind and my heart, and wait. It’s like planting a seed. I don’t do the work of growing but I can create good conditions for the seed to grow. I remember Beverly saying: “Jenny, seeds want to grow.” I can till the soul (o my!) soil, aerate the compost, stir it up, let it cook. Tend the fire as Francis said Jung said. The work I did in the plane, “I remember…” was a good start.
Do not turn on the computer. Do not check emails. Repeat not. Enjoy your cup of real tea. Have some blueberries. Allow yourself to be welcomed back to New Hampshire, to your village, by blueberries, rabbits, bears, moose. By Mount Lafayette and Lafayette Brook, and the Gale River. By Mac’s and Mojo’s and the Hardware store. I was welcomed back by an incredible sunset behind Lafayette and Cannon, right in the Notch, and by Lynelle and Daria’s note & blueberries, and by Pam and Mocha. By the puzzle and my journal. By blue stone fireplace and denim couches. Let yourself settle. Feast on your life.
Yes. A process has been set in motion and I can let it carry me. “… as the arrow endures the bow, to become in the gathering outleap something more than itself…”
“Real tea” means tea made with water from my own well and soy milk.
The last line is from Rilke’s first Duino Elegy. I learned it from a fellow graduate. I don’t know who did the translation.
The injunctions “Do not turn on the computer..” come from a piece I did in Writers for Recovery.
“Feast on your life” is from a poem I love, that Francis read to us.