Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Retreats and retreating

I'm at a retreat for women writers at the Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM. It's beautiful here, and the 90 or so women are brilliant and focused.

As with all situations where I am surrounded by talented, passionate writers, I take dips into places of inadequacy. When I compare myself to others, I always come up short. But that place I descend into is a place of forgetfulness. The deeper I sink, the more I lose site of who I am. Of all the things I am, woman, systems administrator, home owner, community member, of all those things, writer is always at the top of the list. That is mine. I own it. I am it. And the idea that anyone outside of me can diminish that truth is a great lie I tell myself.

I came here with a passive goal. I want to retreat from my world of survival, of work, of dinners with much loved friends. I want to do this so that I can get to the writer in me. That writer has been silenced to a whisper over the years. I approach my subjects with timidity. I always let the imagined audience take me off course. Here, this week, among all of these great women, I am on a quest that can only be carried out alone. I can be part of them, but I must stay focused in my determination to refocus.

It's going fast. We're really only on the 2nd day, but we're already on the 2nd day, if you know what I mean. So, I resolve to write a flash a day. I'm going to post them for critique on zoetrope. And I'm going to fucking get on with it! It's time for the old girl to stop whispering.