retreat gallery

2014 Retreat – “Finding Yourself Here”

FINALLY, THE CENTER, THE PLACE TO BE*

A buffet of association
inhabits that space where one thing becomes another;
the idea I started with dissolves, eludes me now.
How the hell am I going to do this?
What associations would I find, unfiltered?

The goldfish is really a witch woman;
basil foreshadows the pesto it will become.
Patriarchy demolishes civilization,
the primal satisfaction of growing things.
Bull power, full power,
newt and toad no longer
what I create in the world –
swimming in ideals of beauty
curious about what is hidden
the way flowers fall against each other
roots sunk through the mucky pond bottom
not limiting the form.

When you come to the door of your new self –
another sacred joyful place –
you esteem looking ahead,
deciding to live as long as you are alive.
What else is there?

Between trees I see your soul,
my gift is in your hand.
You can stand on firm ground – yours – dancing,
quite glad to be here on the next phase of the journey.

7-12-14
*‘found’ from collage night sharing
swb

2013 Retreat –  “Mirror and Reflection”

I appreciate the willingness to use words in powerful ways and not to shy back from that power. This helps me to feel more bold. Thank you.

By letting go of my expectations, I was somehow freer to create; or perhaps more precisely, to allow creation to happen.

Getting away, being nurtured by exquisite food, quiet, words, women and abundant time; slowing down, skinny dipping, being fed, writing and photographing, the fine company of women seeking new frontiers… Yes, I go home nurtured and restored. Thank you.

The Open Mouth *
I thought of hunger as something to be filled,
couldn’t understand what that meant –
broken intimacy, lack of communication
feeling invisible . . . Being here helps me find
connection to things greater than myself,
creating emptiness to find where emptiness lies,
trying to find the right angle
to make room for a fatigue that filled me,
resting in it everyday lately for the first time.

How truly empty would I be without the hunger,
sadness and grief at not being able to understand?
I want a baby and I want a mom,
love carved into wooden boxes
where I never thought to look.

Keep writing, keep distilling
the fineness and the fierceness of what my life is:
the sustenance of writing
our images on the ponds surface;
spiritual hunger for connection,
strength and conviction
breathing firefly wings;
self-reflecting questions,
the power of the unframed answer –
control vs nurture,
being around nature,
the cup refilling over and over
a pool of sorrow rearranged
inviting compassion.

Let it be what it is,
a hunger to be nourished.

*poem ‘found’ from read-back lines of retreat writers
swb

*   *   *   *   *

2012  Retreat – “Coming Home to Myself”

NOW IS THE TIME TO BE HOME*

Everything I do is sacred, but I forget –
I’d like the veil to be lifted,
be the holder of the mirror,
take a deep breath before speaking.
Have I stepped forward or am I in a parenthesis?

Am I willing to believe
the fundamental paradox of my life?
The story I tell is what keeps those feelings alive;
the idea of a truce is appealing.
Big, full of myself and nearly invisible –
have I reached my limit?

I am always worthy,
always ready to give up a fight.
My mind courses with ‘must-dos’
Are you in?

It is time to hold the paradox of my life.
Death is creation, it all is the same thing.
May my prayer become sacred action,
give all this divine me to the people I love.

* poem ‘found’ from read-back lines of retreat writers
swb

*    *    *    *    *

2007 Retreat – “Returning to the Well”

ESSENCE OF COMMUNITY*

I have become my tiredness
planning and stressing
refusing to hold that which seems important.
Standing, giving,
I’m sometimes crumpled;
I am not broken.
I need to transition.

I’ve been out with the birds,
the rippling dark,
aware of footprints
circled around a spirit fire of light
actively listening to the sounds of a day,
the weight of one snowflake.

NOW IS THE TIME to remain clear in our purpose
help see our own threads
common varieties, uncommon sculptures;
give back spiritual wisdom
courage and strength to evolve and change;
Strong Verbs a place to begin.

Show them how we want to live
grandmothers who swim
skinny dipping at Sky Meadow.
Honor the changes we have committed to.
Practice filial piety for our Mother Earth,
with the strength of youth, wisdom of years.
Put our hands on the marble.
Welcome, embrace, know, accept
transformation by practice.

Viva La Terra!!!

* poem ‘found’ from read-back lines of writers on retreat
swb

*     *     *     *     *

2006 Retreat – “Rediscovering the Girl Within”

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