I’ve experienced a couple of interesting days, blog-wise.
Usually lots and lots of stories present themselves to the forefront. (Well, that’s not technically true. First the photos appear. Something interesting catches the eye and the camera captures it. I download the pictures, and suddenly a story presents itself. The blog basically writes itself.)
Or the reverse happens. The Universe presents a story, and then supplies the appropriate picture-taking opportunities. The blog writes itself! (I swear I am only the typist 90% of the time.)
The last two days have been strange. I have three, four or five stories with photographs in the hopper. They sit in the bin awaiting inspiration from the typist. The stories are ready to go!
But the typist is uninspired. She doesn’t want to type. She doesn’t want to blog. She doesn’t want to share anything. It’s probably just a needed a break after the 30-day gratitude challenge. She needed to be silent for a while.
It just was the oddest feeling.
Yesterday I went to a Women’s Mid-Winter Spiritual Retreat in a small cabin called “Creek House.” Somewhere up near Boston Location. (The old copper mining industry on the Keweenaw Peninsula was always calling the little towns which sprung up around areas of the mines “locations”.)
Initially, I planned to go to the dogsled races in Marquette. That didn’t happen. Long story, which involved not feeling particularly well and 50-60 mile winds on Friday.
Then Catherine called. “Want to go to a women’s spiritual retreat?”
I hemmed and hawed, but finally agreed.
About seven women sipped lettuce soup and chewed chunks of poppyseed-studded homemade hallah bread in the quaint little Creek House. We navigated carefully toward the door, as the ice in driveways is clear and slick after last week’s thaw and freeze.
We meditated in many different ways. One meditation involved magical powers…and it proved very powerful for many of us. I can’t share the particulars of my journey, but it involved silently choking (in real life, while everyone was quietly meditating) until tears poured down by face. But I utilized “magical powers” to silently choke so that not one single participant knew!
The owner of Creek House flung open two large cupboards on the northern wall to reveal hundreds–no, thousands–of miniature items. There was a miniature Indian in a canoe, Jesus, a cheese grater, plates, Buddha, flowers…everything one could possibly envision. We were given a tray filled with sand (and a partner) and instructions to create a scene in the sand.
It could be a scene of our meditation (I couldn’t envision what might represent the magical powers to prevent out-loud choking) or anything else.
Truly, it was fun! The best part was getting to know my sand-partner. We are now corresponding via email.
We did lots of other activities yesterday afternoon at Creek House. We enjoyed silent time. We filled little books with images and words. We meditated some more. We talked. We silenced.
We enjoyed a middle-of-winter retreat back in the woods near Boston Location, strengthening our bonds with other women…and making new friends.
I was going to take pictures. But it seemed too invasive to start snapping photos during a women’s retreat afternoon. And I couldn’t stand the thought of interrupting my own retreat to tell yet another story.
It has been a silent two days.
I’ve decided the story-teller can have her way this morning. The silent one appreciated her retreat.
It’s interesting balancing the different needs of ourselves, isn’t it?
Kathy – And while the dog-sled races might have been a great photo opportunity, this was clearly a wonderful soul opportunity. Thank you for sharing a portion of it with us.
It was a wonderful soul opportunity, Laurie. Thank you!
Your powers of meditation sound pretty amazing Kathy. That’s a little scary thinking of you choking silently! I feel like I could use some of your magical powers to deal with a strange headache that’s been plaguing me for a few days; it is unusual in nature and quite different from my common headaches and not responding well to my usual cure of caffeine and ibuprofen! It isn’t bad enough to keep me down though. 🙂 I hope you got your blogging mo-jo back after your retreat – I’ll be looking forward to the stories you’ve got in the hopper!
Karma, I wish that your headache goes away soon… It is challenging when we’re not feeling well. It’s also challenging when it’s different than the usual headaches. Thanks for the mo-jo wish! Not sure what will happen with those stories in the hopper. I hope they hop out! lol!
The retreat sounds wonderful, creative and restful. I’m glad you attended. I’m in awe of your magical ability to silently choke! Can only recall times – in church, at meetings – when I held my need to cough for all I was worth, but always erupted in tuba-like glory for all to witness. I, too, meant to go to sled dog races with Sonya and family, but allowed the winds to keep us home, watching on t.v. Glad you listened to what you needed, and I hope you’re feeling better, too. This blog has lots of interesting elements … love them!
Susan D, I think you would have enjoyed the retreat. I wish you could have joined us! Interesting that you didn’t go to the dogsled races either. It was too windy and c-c-cold, that’s for sure. I am feeling better, thank you. Thank you for enjoying the wide variety of elements in the blog! 🙂
Kathy, I love that you shared your “magical powers” meditation. That is really something. Funny you should mention this because I’m working on something that’s kind of magical myself.
It makes me smile to think of you working on something magical. May that magic infuse your life with whatever you truly desire, Marianne.
OOOOOOOOO sounds like hack-a-puke-a-snots-a-lot to meeeee!! Purge purge purge!
I am thinking, dear Elisa, how sometimes we need to purge, purge, purge…and other times we need to hold, hold, hold. We simply need to have the wisdom to know which is required at which time! Nice talking to you today, and enjoy your upcoming adventure.
The branch photos are wonderful, Kathy – they hold serenity. Yesterday on my meandering here in the city, I stopped by a little flower shop which has lovely vignettes arranged throughout. There were little miniature scenes in terrariums or birdcages with sand and sphagnum and tiny benches and lanterns and so forth. I thought what fun it would be to make one of those – just as you did in your retreat. A little scene that would hold meaning just for the person who created it.) Even in meditations with magical powers, I don’t think choking is safe…)
The branch photos made me feel peaceful, too, Barb. Interesting that you came upon those miniatures yesterday…it always amazes me how we bloggers can be connected through things like this, even though we haven’t met one another. (I’m not sure choking is safe, either, Barb…it was quite an adventure, though, not to disrupt everyone else’s meditation!)
Sounds lovely. I too have had moments when stories are waiting to be told but the typist doesn’t seem ready to let them flow. Had one of those on our trip when I started the Santa Fe piece…got into about a sentence of it and just stopped, mo words came..nothing there, even though we were in a beautiful place. Two days later it all flowed out…you just never know!
Dawn, isn’t it interesting when words decide to flow and when they need time before they flow? We never know. It varies from day to day with each of us, and varies with different individuals, as well. Glad to see you’re home safely.
Kathy, I love your story of the women’s retreat. The pictures match the story perfectly. I wish I could go to something like that but I don’t do silence well … I know, I know …that’s the very reason I SHOULD go !
Blog on !
Hi Sybil! I think you might have enjoyed the rhythm of silence and then speaking and silence and then speaking. Some of us wished for more speaking–more getting to know our fellow participants–but others seemed to like the peace and simplicity of the quieter times. Be sure & go to a retreat if you have the chance.
I love this post. I am doing something similar at the end of April and I know that I should go. Just look at the comments and how inspiring you’ve been to so many Kathy!
Tammy, if you go at the end of April, I hope to hear how you enjoyed it. I think we women have to take time for ourselves. We often do so much nurturing and giving to others–we need to take time to nurture and give to our own souls.
Ouch, choking silently is not recommended! the other ladies would have understood completely that this was a situation worth being interrupted for.
Sometime the picture tells the thousand words and when the writer need a break then that should be wisest choice to make.
Or, do as I do, when the creative mood strikes, make more then one post and keep one (or more) in “reserve”… post it at times like these…
Or, just take a break and don’t feel in the least bit guilty, blogging is an expression, a wish and not an obligation. Readers are human beings and will/should understand that.
Kiwidutch, for some strange reason–it’s not logical, I know–I was filled with elation afterward. Felt really good about it. (Don’t even ponder this one!) I also like watching how my feelings about blogging change all the time. One minute it’s something and then it’s something else. It’s fun to explore. I find that there are so many different parts of myself that want to do different things–it’s more about recognizing that one part of me loves silence and other parts love sharing daily. Some parts would share hourly if they could! It’s the balance which seems vital. Thank you!
I am glad you survived your choking incident. I hope that what I am about to say does not get you all choked up again … are you ready?
I am presenting you with the “Stylish Bloggers Award” …. see my post .
OK, bearyweather, I’m trying not to get all “choked up” again. Thank you for the award! You are a sweetheart. I so appreciate it… Not sure that I can play along right now, but want you to know that your kindness and good will means a LOT to me. Thank you again for the Stylish Bloggers Award.
I was riveted by your description of your retreat experience, Kathy. It sounds so appealing. I’ve never been to something like that and wouldn’t even know where to begin looking. I like the raspberry plant sticking out of the snow. What I’d give for a fresh raspberry right now!!
I think you would have enjoyed the retreat, Barbara. It was peaceful and energizing simultaneously. The little “Creek House” was the cutest place for folks to gather. I wouldn’t have even known about it if Catherine hadn’t called. As for a fresh raspberry…oh yes! My mouth is watering, too.