It was spring in '08 when I attended my first "Re: Writing" workshop with Elizabeth Rosner at Esalen, near Big Sur. It was a turning point. I came away with a notebook full of story seeds, a boost in confidence and a commitment to writing. A well had been tapped. The words haven't stopped flowing. I doubt they will.
At Esalen I felt cradled in the beauty, power and abundance of nature. The intrusions of television, neighbors, telephone and traffic had been replaced by wind in the pines, the chatter of a stellar jay and the distant drumming of surf beyond a cliff where the stalk of a century plant spiraled toward the light.
No one hurried. Movements from place to place were at a strolling pace. Mobile yoga.
One moonless night I stood in a pathway looking up, struck by the brilliance of the Milky Way streaming from horizon to horizon. The sea was so calm that the stars reflected off the undulating swells below the warm mineral bath where I lay soaking at midnight, pondering the day.
There were eleven of us in the room, coaxed and guided, day after day, by Liz's confident, gentle voice prompting us to write whatever came first to mind. "Trust those first thoughts" she said. I did, and was rewarded every time. And when we shared our work, the variety of themes and stimulating voices encouraged me to go deeper. And the words just came.
I was in the right place, with my people, doing what I was meant to do.
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