It has been a week, quite a week, and so I pause to find a place to enter, begin.
Perhaps with reverence for this day. I have been lovingly feasted and celebrated by my children since Friday afternoon. I stayed at Jeff and Jan's on the way back from Esalen and would still be there if I followed their preference, but knew I needed to get home and re-adjust to life here. Chris came down and we shared the most wonderful days and food, relaxed. I sit here with cards of love and the scent of roses.
I give thanks for my own mother, her love that still shines down on and in me.
So, Esalen - where to begin and am I yet too fragile to speak. I may let the poems speak. I became very sick, am still struggling with diahrhea. It is as though my insides have liquified, or that everything I eat is completely absorbed. I felt the Esalen Natives at work in me. There is no question the air and plants dance. The sparkle is so intense, and I was blessed enough to experience, sun, heat, fog, and cold.
I am still resting and assimilating, and I believe I will post the poems as I re-locate them. The workshop was intense. We met Sunday night from 8:30 - 10:30, then, needed to appear with a poem in the morning. The calibre of the poetry in this group was intense, so each poem was an experience that did, in Emily Dickinson's words, fit the definition of poetry. My head was lifted off again and again. . We met until 12:30, and then, came back at 3:30 or 4:00 with a new poem to read and share, and hear and comment on the other poems, and then, it began again. Meal conversation was poetry. There were nine of us and Sharon, so it was hearing, assimilating, absorbing 20 poems a day, and creating two of them. I walked through my own insides, and the insides of trees and rocks. I write of nature, my own and what I see around me. For others, I see with childhood eyes and write of regeneration. How could I not? I know it well. The words of my chemo oncologist were with me: "We take you as close to death as we can and bring you back." I know the theme of regeneration. I lived it eight times and it continues to be my spring.
I think, also, I finally felt what happened last year, realized the horror of it. This was a place to let go, a huge play-pen. I was cared for. When I became so sick, that ginger ale was it for me, Michael Murphy himself made sure I was supplied. Perhaps it was all more than I could digest, or perhaps I am digesting it all, and there is nothing but liquid to emerge.
We spoke of political poetry Friday. I was reminded of the poem of Carolyn Forche that I will post here. It says it all for me, and perhaps I am now creating a body that can write words such as hers. I am resting. I am tired, and I am renewed. Both at the same time, you say. Yes, it seems so. My eyes sparkle with the new and unfold what comes now to emerge.
Now and now and now -