I am on a retreat in the Pocono’s for writers. It’s a place that the Highlight Foundation, provides for writers to take workshops or do what I’m doing called an unworkshop. It’s an opportunity for some peace and quiet to concentrate on working on the second draft of my memoir. I’ve only been working this story just about my whole life, at least it feels that way. I need, and want to put it to rest so I can move on to other things.
I was blessed with a beautiful day for driving and the scenery was outstanding as I went up and down the mountains. I love Pennsylvania as much now as I did when I first saw it in 1965. I was 12 years old then. We’d come all the way across the states from California on a greyhound bus. It took 5 days to get to Philadelphia our final destination. Don’t get me wrong. I loved California too, and liked being a California girl. Would have loved to stay there if we could, but Pennsylvania was the place we had to go. Back east where my parent’s original came from. I don’t know maybe it was in my blood or something, but it felt like I was coming home. Anyway, that’s what I came here to write about. The part of me that got from where I was to where I am today. If it wasn’t for the child I was, and what she endured, I wouldn’t have had the full life I’ve had for the past 46 years. I owe it to her to tell our story.
I got here at 4:00pm settled in and at 5:30 went to happy hour at the barn and a fantastic meal at 6:00. I didn’t have much of a chance to take pictures but will do some of that tomorrow as I wonder around the grounds.
I’m so excited to be here!
“The Sea of Life”
With my limited mobility, I don’t have much choice except to sit most of the day. Oh I get up quite often for short periods of walking and exercise, but the gist of my day is spent in a chair. I have plenty of things I can do like watching TV, reading a book, writing, working on my genealogy, a craft or even coloring in my color book. Or I can simple sit in the quiet and listen. The thing is I’m so tired most of the time that the TV seems to be the most mindless thing to do. In spite of my cloudy mind I still hear my inquiring mind reaching out from within. In case you haven’t guessed already I’m a pretty deep thinker. Nothing keeps those thoughts from finding a way out, except when I ignore it. I find myself saying lately, “Go away, and come again another day.” But to be honest I miss being connected to that inner part of myself. I miss being in the quiet. It’s simple a matter of choice. I can be in a noisy mindless state or in a quiet mindful state.
“A troubled man exhausted from his suffering and confusion, asked a sage for help. The sage looked deeply into the troubled man and with compassion offered him a choose: “You can have either a map or a boat.”
After looking at the many pilgrims about him, all of whom seemed equally troubled, the confused man said, “I’ll take the boat.”
The sage kissed him on the forehead and said, “Go than. You are the boat. Life is the sea.”***
In the quiet I’m always able to rediscover the sea of life that exists within me. Like a fisherman all I need to do is sit quietly bobbing in my boat, listening and waiting for the catch of the day to reveal itself to me.
***from “The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo