Saturday, November 05, 2005

making my big getaway

I'm an all-American rebel making my big getaway
- Sheryl Crow in Steve McQueen

It's now or never, baby. I've done my research on writer's retreats, thanks much to my SEJ colleagues, and I've pondered going to a beautiful beach on Caye Caulker Belize, staying at a monastery, going somewhere in my home state of Oregon, and looked into several writers retreats nationwide. What I've chosen is Owl Mountain Retreat -- an off-the-grid isolated cabin in the red rock hills of New Mexico. It uses solar power, a composting toilet, and a little propane-fueled heating stove. There is a phone line for internet access. I'm going for 2 weeks in late November to focus on completing my book proposal, refreshing my soul, and getting a new focus and inspiration for my new life ahead. Here is what owner Marguerite Kearns, herself a talented writer, said in an email describing what I'll expect:

"Beyond the gate, Owl Mountain is about two miles at the end of a dirt road, up against the rocks. It's very safe. The coyotes might make themselves known, as well as ravens and other wildlife. The peaks in the distance are snow capped already, but the weather is mild during the day but chilly at night as you might expect. There's a fire pit outside the cabin and it's a treat to build a little fire and sit under the stars."

WOW. This will be over the week of Thanksgiving. Looking at the billions of stars, hidden from view in Houston, I will have much to be thankful for. My daughter went on a week-long camping trip with her school to Enchanted Rock State Park recently, and she was telling me how they went out with their flashlights at night and then 1-2-3 all turned off the flashlights and she was telling me how they were just millions, and billions of stars and she was ao amazed and it was so beautiful. Although I grew up with the stars overhead in Oregon, and have seen them before, whenever I see them I remember how beautiful they are, I remember feeling this same thing the first night I arrived in Costa Rica on a moonless night and we walked the beach looking for sea turtle tracks. You forget - until you see them again in all their glory - how many, and how hard it is to see them or even remember they are there in the city.

It is a parable for life isn't it. In the hustle and bustle and stress and anxiety of daily life, in our homes, our cars, our streets and cities and traffic and to-do lists, we can forget the bright lights of those who have come before us to illuminate the way. I know for myself, I have felt very inspired, and very confident, and I have felt very down and very disillusioned. Refreshing one's soul and spirit in nature, I believe, is a crucial part of feeling alive, enjoying life, and remembering that we each are lights to the world, and that we can draw inspiration from nature and from one another's journey.

Wow I'm feeling refreshed already! :) Maybe I don't need to go... JUST kidding.

Here is a link to an amazing tale of a prison artist named ibn Kenyatta, the In the Fray article is written by the Owl Mountain Owner Marguerite Kearns: "Freedom, deferred"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That sounds great.