My son and I went for a bit of a hike today. We came upon on old stable of a sort and peeked inside. Tried not to recall episodes of Criminal Minds as we did so. In fact, made a conscious choice last night NOT to watch an episode of that show! I had him bring me a pair of actual JEANS, for heaven’s sake, and it was good to traipse around in muck and thorny growth without having to step so cautiously. Fiona has become quite the mountain dog, bravely wandering just beyond us to check things out on her own. Then falling behind when something curious strikes her and running down the rocky road back to us if we called her enough times. It’s been joyful watching her adapt and take in the new experiences.
My daughter arrived around 3:30 and, as I’d suspected she would, fell in love with the beauty and simplicity of the place. Her boyfriend visited via Skype and she provided him a walking tour as she carried her laptop around and he with it. We had ice coffees and conversation on the deck and then the two ‘children’ went for their own hike, in search of vines to swing from while I started packing up. I have faint feelings of hating to leave, but mostly I’m ready to get back to my partner and my home. We had vegetarian and chicken souvlaki tonight–my first attempt–and we all loved it. My daughter talked us into a playing a card game, the catch to which was that only she knew the rules and our task was to figure them out. As a person who’s not much of a game player, I found this rather loathsome, as she suspected I might, but we worked through two rounds and enjoyed the time in the same room and sharing an activity without interruptions or schedules intruding.
I feel refreshed and filled up with myself. And I accomplished even more than I had hoped in terms of writing. I’m going to wait two weeks, I think, and revisit the two performance pieces to see if I have any new ways of reading them or any new insights. I was going to submit the (hopeful) journal article within a week but I think I’ll give that one a little time to settle also, and try to read it again with fresh eyes in a week or two in the hopes of finding whatever ill-fitting pieces are most surely there. I can’t believe I’m coming back down the mountain with three manuscripts. I’m so pleased to have had the opportunity to get away and the support of my family and my department in doing so. I should say too that I worked like a mule through the week. The days were peaceful and beautiful but they were labored and disciplined. I averaged 10-12 hours a day from Saturday through Thursday, and about 5 more on Friday.
Having you all here reading was an inspiration for me; there were a couple of days when I was losing interest but kept at it so I’d have progress to report to you those nights.
One million thanks for reading and for sharing this writing retreat with me. If you do a retreat yourself, please include me!