|Searching for the Center.|
I got to sleep in a luxurious room in a lake house called “Sara's Sanctuary.” The next day, a dozen or so women would join me to write, draw, walk around the grounds, eat, and share tales and strategies. They arrived around nine, and I tried my best to introduce them to Birdland through stories and pictures. Since I write these letters regularly, the act of writing has become a practice for me, something that gives my life rhythm and rhyme, and a reason to slow down and take a careful look at what is going on around me. Through this writing practice I have begun to create a quiet center in my life, one that nurtures and sustains me. I tried to share that with them and encourage them to locate their own centers. We did some childhood drawing exercises, and seeing all the different riffs on childish landscapes was fun. One woman grew up in the Pacific Northwest and drew the same snow-capped mountains I used to draw, with letter “m” birds in the distant sky. Prairie girls have a similar picture vocabulary, it seems, but I don't remember drawing saugaro cactuses, as another woman drew. One woman drew a big, smiling sun and edged the page with intricate borders and ribbons of text. Another asked for pink crayon, and drew what looked like a Seusian truffula tree, with pink, windswept foliage. We shared our drawings and talked about the personal connections we each felt with these archetypal worlds.
|The surface and the depths.|