Wednesday, December 10, 2014

You Must Remember This

by Elizabeth

Last year we realized we kind of O.D.'d on posts about our retreat. Gearing up, what we did, what we ate, the aftermath. Well, it's hard not to. It really is a very good time, to anticipate, to experience, to recount. But enough is enough, right?

I'm not the photographer Pamela is, but this was my view.
So this post is not about the retreat, even though I'm writing this in a rocker on the front porch overlooking barren trees as a breeze softly blows and the wind chimes sing to me. Even though we've all arrived, even though I feasted on a Pamela-made grilled cheese with homemade chicken noodle soup for lunch as we caught up, even as I then sat down and poured out a fast sixteen hundred fresh words of a maybe-manuscript, even though I'm already looking forward to our first dinner, Susan's homemade lasagna that will be served with salad and bread and some nice red wine that maybe even I will drink. Even though I already feel the slow settling in of this weekend, the promise of laughter and talk and the hope and belief that this will be productive and relaxing and fun. Even though I've already walked a couple miles up the road and around the acreage and texted my nature finds (okay, a dessicated armadillo and a squirrel-less tail) to my daughter to share with my son. Even though I don't yet miss my kids but already these five women who I'll say goodbye to three short days from now.

Sadly, this better reflects my talent with a camera. Icky, huh?

No, this post isn't about the retreat; it's about fulfilling needs. What do we need, as humans, as women, as writers? The past six weeks have been, as this time of year always is for me, a whirlwind of birthdays and holidays and planning and preparing for the weeks to come. This year the hurly-burly started a bit earlier than usual, and went on a little later than the norm as well. (Darn late Thanksgiving!) So what do I need, did I need?

Rest. Peace. Time to think, mind space to write, good food, camaraderie. Not just when we get away, but every day. This post is not about the retreat, but the need it fills, the reminder it provides. As humans, as women, as writers, we need, we deserve, a little retreat in every day. In the hustle and burly, in the rush and bustle, there is time, even if we spin ourselves a story that there is not, there is time and space to take an hour or a minute to breathe, to think, to recall the sounds of the chimes, and to renew. To retreat into the space that makes us writers, makes us women, makes us human.
This one, I like. The first evening of the retreat, after I wrote.

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