November 16, 2011
We have arrived at St. Columba retreat house in Inverness, near Pt Reyes. I picked Chip up at Google around 2pm, driving 101 through busy San Francisco, a windy tour into the northern seashore. After dropping off our stuff we walked the skinny shoulder of the road into Inverness to dine at Priscellas on fish tacos and a sumptuous pesto penna pasta. I am aware of our talking, on this silent retreat, aware of the pauses, the moments of quiet, the need to share, our deep caring for each other.
I am deciding whether to bring my iPad into the workshop or to use my handy dandy journal, noticing the tap of my fingertips compared to the scratching of the pen, the incessant auto correct which is wrong in comparison to my own scribblings, an incessant need to edit, to make tidy and perfect.
What is my intention? To write, of course, but what springs forth is to write love letters - to Chip, to Amber, to Z, to Scott in a coma, to my clients, to myself. What are the letters of love? Looking at the Hebrew letters on the sun and moon tarot deck, what are the letters I would like to inscribe on my deck?
I wanted to make tarot templates before this trip, but time eluded me, getting caught up in the tides and eddies of cleaning the house, clearing my desk, last minute phone calls and emails. When do I put myself first? I comfort myself that all is within, and while I may not be able to draw a perfect circle, I know I can draw upon my own creativity to begin what maybe I see as my great work, my chef d'oevre, even knowing in this moment that the quest is elusive and to enjoy the journey more than the destination.
Five years ago I really began talking about my intention to create a tarot deck, specifically by the time I am 50. Now at 45 I feels my own pressure, get with it, start writing, start sketching. I have momentary jealousies when I see a colleague who has created a deck, who is being published, and I need to remind myself that my time is my own, dedicated to Amber, dedicated to putting food on the table and paying off debts, there is plenty of time, plenty of time.
Recently I sketched out the minor arcana, and we'll see if I dedicate time to creating more fuller versions this weekend, or if my ramblings will take me elsewhere, always a learning experience, always a part of the process.
We are sleeping in bunk beds, a far cry from spooning together, yet I am so grateful to have Chip by my side, willing to enjoy this experience together. I send the cats energy and assurances, mom is just on a big hunt, and I will be back soon. Meanwhile, the retreat has just begun to be...
Our first workshop, Chip and I pass each other our writings, I notice all the people from past retreats, those who are new. I'm curious about their stories, in slight awe of my own, from three years ago being in grief and torment over Chip, last year he house sat for me, this time he is by my side. I pulled the card of change a few days ago, and the wheel keeps on turning.
I am slightly chilled, at least my nose and cheeks, I can't believe I forgot to bring my jacket, she who is addicted to the black velvet. Addiction is my other theme this weekend, noticing all the times I have overcome past addictions, from cigarettes to farmville. I enjoyed my Lagunitas IPA at dinner, conscious of being grateful for moderation on this journey,