Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tuesday at the Women's Journaling Alpine Retreat

Our Tuesday morn was chilly but with a whisper of warm sun hovering. Our yoga rocks were still too wet for our mornin' yoga by the lake, but following our hearty breakfast (Strawberry, Peach, Blueberry Greek Yogurt with House-made Coconut Granola) we were anxious for the day.

We moved into our creative time over at the Sequoia Cabin, playfully. I've discovered this fascinating material, Paperclay, which I've started using in my journals. But this morn we were individually sculpting personal amulets expressing a private yearning. Here's mine without it's sealing layer and then, coat of dark brown to bring out an aged appearance.

Next on the agenda was Jean leading a Contour/Intuition Process. We hiked down to a comfy picnic table near the lakes edge to add nature to our process.

My experience with this process was fascinating. Between closed eyes for meditiation, where I became keenly aware of smells, sounds and air movement, I'd ink in my contour drawing of first, this small tortured tree. As my process deepened I moved into the background and finally, came in touch with the energy of many Miwok Indians (known to live in summer in this mountainous area). To illustrate the ethereal quality of the Indian spirits, I kept their edges soft, transparent. I love this method of interpretation and many of the participants had differing experiences.
After the lunch break, where we feasted upon Chef Izzy's Vegan Minestrone & Lentil Stew, we return to an exercise coming from inside out. Creating an animal mandala also from a very personal space gifted me with (of all things) a tomato worm. With some resistance I sketched in my chubby green worm ~ the magical gift came after I was home and a friend suggested I look up what a tomato worm turns into. There I was introduced to a hawk moth ~ and they are lovely along with being one of three species that hovers like hummingbirds. NOW I began to see a deeper meaning to my mandala and created this loose, floating hawk moth to hover above my mandala.

Our final afternoon project was a fun and colorful writing process. Again, I'm intrigued by the diversity and imagination of each beautiful individual.
As the shadows grow long, we all traverse the Lake Alpine grounds, to the "dining cabin" and we are not disappointed. Izzy has crafted two meal options, one for the vegan/vegetarian, Vegan Chili (to die for, by the way!) or more for more conventional tastes, Pork Meatballs, both accompanied by the Spicy Jalapeno Cornbread with Lime Compound Butter.

What a savory day, one that gave us new media to play with and inner revelations to ponder. Slumber was easy, deep with the crisp air!

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