Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Funky Sexy Manifesto #20 Attend a Writing Retreat

Bob Marley So Much Things To Say & Zimbabwe

I think that this song says it best in terms of how I feel after attending a five-day writing retreat. On my Funky Sexy Manifesto list, I very much wanted to attend a healing retreat (or a creative one). My writing retreat gave me an opportunity to get away AND do lots of writing. I found that I didn't do more writing than I normally did throughout my healing journey. The volume is about the same. What the writing retreat did for me was affirm that indeed I have , in the words of Bob Marley & the I-Threes as evident in the videoclip, "so much things to say right now."

Writing is equally healing and a form of creative expression for me. At the writing retreat, I enjoyed the opportunity to write my stuff and get to read it to a LIVE AUDIENCE and GET FEEDBACK. I enjoyed the writing exercise that we were given and I even WROTE SOME POETRY. I never WRITE POETRY. Well, almost never write poetry. I have a binder full from high school and used to publish my poems in the school newspaper (including an embarrassing one describing a boy I had a crush on and he found out it was him). But this past week, I tapped into my poetic voice and even made lots of headway on a picture book that I started a few months ago. It's not easy writing a picture book although Madonna and Will Smith might cause one to think differently.

Inspired by natural settings, daily hikes, afternoon naps, and even a chase by a ferocious territorial unchained dog (who chased me into the street, my childhood fear of dogs and experience with having been bitten told me not to run, thank God I resisted that urge which must have worked since Killer eventually went away), I have been reminded that writing brings me a lot of joy and has done so my whole life.

Before the retreat, I wondered if I could deal with the solitude life of writing, waking up to write, writing in the day and in the night, reading my writing to others and having it critiqued, writing assignments, writing all day, and writing about uncomfortable, personal, troubling, and even controversial topics. I am learning that I can handle these challenges and I have a thirst for more. I think I found my calling.

I am thankful that I had the opportunity to attend this writing retreat and for the generous support that made it possible.

Below are some photos that I took on the beautiful grounds where the writing retreat was held.

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