Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I’ve been home from the art retreat for over a week now and haven’t blogged about the trip. I also haven’t been reading other blogs. You see, this trip turned into way more than a class with Lesley Riley. I stayed at Spirit Mountain Retreat, which turned my weekend into a true art retreat. Esther Kennedy allowed me to stay in the “Hill House” so I was able to set up my sewing machine and supplies. As it turned out, I never used the machine because I became engrossed in some major inner work … the place was filled with positive spiritual energy, so much so that I found it difficult to sleep at night.

One example of the kind of experience I had was, one morning I was eating breakfast on the porch, reading Angeles Arrien’s The Second Half, and working in my journal. The page included a fence with a gate opened, a sketch I’d drawn the day before picking up Arrien’s book. I was writing about moving through the gate. Along comes a galloping (rider-less) horse, very close to where I was sitting. The horse galloped by with beauty and grace – he was free, non-hesitant, powerful. Then he hit a “roadblock” and he calmly grazed, seemingly unafraid, un-anxious, enjoying his freedom. He’d traveled to new territory and calmly explored it, taking it all in.

We researched and discovered the symbology of the horse is travel, power, freedom. If a horse comes into your life, you might want to examine issues of travel and freedom. Well, ironically, the gate represents my moving towards retirement, where one of my greatest concerns is financially being able to live comfortably and travel (which means also the freedom from working part-time all year.)

So, even though the focus for the weekend was “fabrications”, the main focus became inner. The trip became a soulful journey, way beyond my expectations. And as we do on such occasions, I made some resolutions, through questioning how I could simulate a “retreat” back at home. These include:

Turn off the computer, telephone, television
Reflective time
Reading and study time
Work time
Celebration time
Walking in silent meditation
Playful sketching and painting/coloring

Honor the creative process
Give it space, time
Listen to what the heart is saying

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