I have just come back from an extraordinary trip out west to Santa Fe, NM. I participated in a week long writer's conference studying under Natalie Goldberg. The focus of this conference was Creative Non-fiction. Through my work with Natalie in her workshops, and her methods of writing practice I am developing m,y own strong writer's inner voice. It was an amazing journey. I had to reach deep down and pull out the essence of me. It was emotionally charged at times but it has left a lasting impression on me.
I should reveal a truth here. One that I came to on Wednesday, June 15, while sitting in the garden of St. Francis Cathedral. I came to this writing conference hoping to meet a man. I knew that I would benefit greatly from all the workshops, but secretly I was hoping to meet a man at the conference that would be revealed as my soulmate. That struggling, tragic, writer/poet, that would share all my grief and sorrow. I was hoping to meet someone of like mind and same depth. Imagine my surprise and disappointment during the first night when I saw that the conference was composed of mostly middle-aged to older women and two men who were also older than I expected. I thought great there go my chances at romance. Sitting at St. Francis I had my epiphany. I wanted to meet someone because I have been so lonely lately and I feel that time is slipping away from me. And that if I don't meet and marry someone soon then I never will. I cried on the bench facing St. Francis statue and prayed for some peace. It dawned on me that something extraordinary was happening to me. As the rest of the week wore on I realized what it was.
I am alone becasue I don't let anybody into my heart. I reveal nothing about myself yet people openly reveal themselves to me. I met the most courageous and extraordinary women at this conference. Each one of them in my workshop has been hurt, has suffered, has overcome great obstacles, and have continued to forge ahead. The revelations in their writing was honest, real, and raw. I came face to face with my own fear of being revealed. Why? Nothing can be as bad as all that. I came to admire and love these women for all that they were able to do. I left that conference feeling that I made some real connections and life-long friends. Now I must continue to work at getting over these fears and self-doubt. The Monkey Mind that is never quiet must be taught to stay focused and positive.
I will continue to write more of my adventures in the desert.