Kanuga Conference Center

Kanuga Conference Center

Every time I go away on a trip and then return I come home a new person.  This time is no exception.  Yesterday afternoon I returned from four nights at the Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and then a one night visit with my daughter, her partner, and my grandkids. It was intense.  All of it.

The conference was about journaling and I have not yet processed all that I learned and how it may effect how I move forward. But just let me say that I am full and must now slowly begin to digest the nourishment I received. I met wonderful people like Christina Baldwin, who wrote Story Catcher and whose quote you will find on the home page of my website. She has long been an inspiration to me and her words kept me working on my soon to be published book.

I discovered that both of my grandkids are taller than I am and that I don’t see them enough. They are growing toward adulthood and I can’t seem to keep up with them.  Zoe and I had a lovely afternoon together while the rest of the family  was otherwise engaged.  We walked around Lake Tomahawk, share delicious, chocolate salted-caramel ice-cream and listened to live blue-grass in downtown Black Mountain.  We made plans that once she has her drivers license next year, she is going to come up here to Charlottesville so we can go visiting places like Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, and the many other historic sights we are home to.

Next week I’m taking a few days to go on retreat. No phone. No fixed schedule. No blog post. Just the sound of the Atlantic pounding on the shore, some good books to read, and taking in the natural world of gulls, dolphins, and shells that wash up on the shore. I’ll be back on the first of June with my newsletter and on June 7th I’ll be back here with a new blog post.

May Peace Be With You


Lake Tomahawk

Saying It Out Loud

“Seeing,” from my Artist’s Journal

I’ve written a guest post on my daughter’s blog, Sacred Circle.  It’s about my way of making  my intentions known, my Artist’s Journal, and the summer writing camp I’ve been attending.

I hope you enjoy!

New Beginnings

Zoe, Bill (also known as Granddaddy), and Noah reading Brer Rabbit.

I’m tired.  The period between Thanksgiving and January 1st, always leaves me out of breath and exhausted.  There is too much to do. Time to write, paint or stare into space is diminished.  Instead I get pulled into the rush, rush of the season, stay up too late, get up too early and am tempted by the yumminess that pervades store shelves, edible and otherwise.  It isn’t that the holidays are nasty. It’s that these big celebrations come all at once and last for well over a month.

Bill and I had a fun visit with our daughter, her partner and our two amazingly wonderful grandchildren in North Carolina.  We rented a small Townhouse just a quarter of a mile from their house for a week.  We took turns cooking, went to see the movie, Tin Tin on Christmas eve, and spent Christmas morning wading through gift wrap. Zoe spent two nights with us, Noah only one.  He said he heard strange noises in the night and couldn’t sleep.  We did a lot of walking and I was thrilled that Lisa took me to her Groove class, a delightful dance/exercise class featuring fantabulous music and soaking wet clothing by the end of the hour.  The weather was cold but perfect.

This morning, I’m finally feeling that I can get back to things I left on the back burner while I was otherwise engaged.  Last night, I decided it was time to get over the big overwhelm and holiday grind.  I plan to take a long walk today instead of going to Yoga.  The day is sunny and on the warm side.  I slept in until 7:30 (I know, I know!) and took my time walking Sam and having my breakfast.  From my kitchen window, I caught a glimpse of a neighbor I haven’t seen in months and ran out to give her a hug and meet her new dog, Mystique.  It felt wonderful to renew our connection and we promised to get together soon for tea and allow Sam and Mystique get to know each other.

I’ll tackle the heaps of paper surrounding my computer.  They keep sliding down onto my mouse pad, making writing extremely difficult at times.  And then there is the stuff in my head that needs attention.  Things I haven’t had time to write about, like the fact that I have made the commitment to write a memoir.  It’s been hard for me to say it out loud or to jot it down on paper because once I put it out there it becomes a fact. I can’t hide from myself anymore or the voice of my inner critic who screeches, “Who the !#@$ do you think you are?  Write a memoir?  You can’t do that.  There is nothing in your life that other people would be interested in reading!!”

Sound silly? I think it’s pretty typical and since that screechy voice comes from someone I envision as being about three feet tall and wears her hair standing on end, I can only laugh.  I tell her,  “It’ll be okay.  I am writing a memoir … because I can, because I want to, because I need to understand who I really am and how I got that way. I can file away all my stories in my head, but they will never become clear to me until they are written down on paper.”

Bill is going on a trip for a week this month.  I’ll use the time to tend to myself and retreat from the usual business I get bogged down in.  I did it for a week in the fall at the beach and it was lovely. At home I’m tempted to ramp up that kind of alone time with too much stuff. Since I’ll miss Bill, keeping busy helps the time pass quickly until his return.  But I won’t do that this time.  I plan on rolling in and out of bed when I feel like it, not knowing how the day will unfold.  I’ll just let it happen. Let it be a surprise. Take long walks, deep breaths, write, read and leave the holiday season behind for another year.