This blog is fairly experimental for me… And with that warning I will continue with this post!
A few people have been asking me about the writing retreat I went on recently. There was so much within it that it now feels a little difficult to know which parts of the week are ready for blog sharing… so I will keep this brief, with a short intro and short poem. Meanwhile I will allow my mind to chew over the rest of my very full notebook.
I spent the most amazing week at a writer’s retreat in Southern France called Writing From the Bright Moment. It was led by the inspiring, compassionate and very talented author Roselle Angwin.
It was an alchemic success of guided mindfulness sessions, clever writing exercises, an experienced teacher and an extremely trusting group of wise women participants. All of this in the most relaxed mountain scenery possible, with organic delicious meals, a masseuse and of course hammocks. This all resulted in a week of deep transformation, learning, growth, vulnerability and healing. Personal and skill development that I could not have imagined when I signed up.
Now, the experimental part of the blog…. Below is a “Haiban” which I wrote at the retreat – a style of poem that combines Japanese Haiku and short, sharp prose (with a whole bunch of other rules mixed in). I hadn’t heard of it prior to the retreat, it takes years to perfect and hence the experimental nature of this blog post. You may enjoy it, you may not. You may ‘get’ me, you may not. Either way, thought I’d share it, because being vulnerable and experimental is part of what writing is about 🙂
A big thank you to my fellow retreat-ers, without your eagerness to be in the bright moment together the week surely would not have been so profound, or fun!
The Haiban is called The Massage. It’s for Nuha.
It was thirty-two degrees in the yurt yesterday. The massage yurt. With earthly Frances, cotton doors, air full of memory; heavy. I enter with reminder not to crumble, only calm lives here.
grew between the two
cuddling through chemo
Heat increases, Frances flicks on the fan, removes a layer. Long strokes, one hand; shorter stokes with two. Melt away. Our bodies hold pain, between third and fourth vertebrate, a moment to the left of centre.
we travel sideways
and back again to light
Frances glides hot palms off the sockets of my eyes. She shifts clouds. The yurt allows the sun through, eyelids smashed with yellow. That light – my friend fell through it, now painless on the brighter side. How she shines.
this bright moment indeed