WARNING: this is a big post - almost as big as a Portland Pancake!!
Okay, I know that I said that I wasn't going to post until Dec. 1, but I couldn't let the week I just had go by without some mention.
If you take a media studies course they will often tell you that when it is raining in a movie it means that a profound change is taking place. Well it poured in Seattle last week and I indeed came home deeply altered.
I have been reading the posts that some of the other women I shared this journey with have written and have cried a little bit more each time I have read them. What a weekend. I am a bit aware of the weirdness of sharing such an intense and personal time on such a public forum, but I need to say this: Several months ago I was reading about another group of women and another gathering that happened. I was so happy for them and also jealous of their connection. Within a few days I started my own blog and my own journey. It has been an incredible adventure.
I went to Seattle hoping that I would make some friends and that we would be able to help each other along our various paths. What I received was so much more than that. We watched each other open and grow and ache in many ways. We cried and we laughed and we fought and we struggled and we listened and we danced and with each moment the bonds between us grew and deepened. It wasn't easy and at times it wasn't fun, but the result is time and friendships that have changed me for the better. I feel so honoured and blessed to have been a companion and a witness on this journey that we are all on. (And yes - they are as gorgeous and creative and brilliant and charming and full of life and fiesty as they seem on their blogs - more so even!)
But my trip didn't end there!! On Sunday night Liz and I went to see the Indigo Girls in concert. (Sigh!!) I truly have loved them since I was 15. Every time I listen to them I have the experience of a certain line or lines speaking directly to who I am right then. This time was no exception. I sang right along with them as loud as my tired voice would allow and I am sure that if you were to have seen me you would have seen that my face was shining as I thought about my soul sisters.
And then the week was still not over!! On Monday Liz and I got back in the car and drove to Portland to hang out with Alexandra and Laini!! Alexandra and Laini (along with Jamie and Claudia) were my very first blogging friends. We connected right away and I have loved them since our very first email. Soon after that Laini and I started Sunday Scribblings together so it was absolutely wonderful wonderful to meet them in person! We went out for sushi and then hung out in Laini and Jim's house (which is amazing - it oozes creativity and inspiration and magic from every corner!) then the next day we went out for the biggest pancakes I have ever seen (They were bigger than the plates! I picked chocolate chip - MMMmmmm MMmmm!!!) and then they took me to the mother ship: Powell's City of Books. (a whole city block and four floors of BOOKS - new and used mixed up together!!!) I walked around it feeling overwhelmed. I needed six hours and another pancake to have done it justice! WOW. (And yes - Laini and Alexandra and Jim are all even more wonderful and fiesty and creative and gorgeous and full of life as they are in their blogs!)
So here I sit. I am back home, incredibly exhausted, but filled with the joys and the memories of an entire week of incredible connection. I was so nervous to meet these people but there was never any weirdness with any of them. As soon as our grins met we were chatting like old friends. I miss them all deeply. I feel strange - like there is a hole in my heart because I am missing them so much, but at the same time my heart feels more full because I know that they are in my life. I felt them all today as I went about my job - like an invisible force field of cheerleaders and defenders - not present in body but there nonetheless.
You have altered me, my friends. I promise to be braver and more creative and fiercer in my dream chasing. Thank you.
(This photo was taken by Thea. They all scolded me for having so few pictures of myself on my blog so I am starting with a small picture that is all me!!)
And now I mean it - no more posts again until December first. I have a dream to chase.