The Dry Spell

“Lovers, farmers and artists have one thing in common, at least –a fear of ‘dry spells,’ dormant periods in which we do no blooming, internal droughts only the waters of imagination and psychic release can civilize.”

–Gretel Ehrlich “The Solace of Open Spaces”

Tell me about at time you went through a dry spell–and how it ended.

Comments

  1. Janice says

    I am in a dry spell now. I’m supposed to be working on my 3rd book but I can’t. I’m letting the well fill.

    This has happened to me before and I always am able to start writing again. I just have to realize that not being able to write is temporary.

    • Fran says

      I go through these dry spells all the time Janice. I just came out of another big one. Seems to me I have to hit them periodically just to be lifted up. Writing is a creative juice. Sometimes the well runs dry. Then the rains come and fill it up again. Just like the seasons, our lives also
      have them. Don’t get discouraged. Pray for a lot of rain.

      • says

        I also find that sometimes the well runs dry in one area, and I keep looking for the flow to return there–my juice, my creativity, only to find that it may find an outlet in an unexpected part of my life.

    • says

      Janice, I’m curious if there are any factors in particular that you can point to that have helped prime the pump and release your creative voice once again.

  2. Fran says

    I recently went through the longest dry spell of my entire life. I found myself being other directed. As soon as I woke up each morning, I would put on the coffee, turn on the music, brush my teeth, feed my animals and sit down to the computer. I would deviate from writing by reading and answering e-mails. I would deviate again by filling my days with unimportant tasks. I would fill up my calendar with all types of activities not related to finishing what needed to be done to complete the task I’d begun. Then, one day, I had an epiphany. A LOUD VOICE SPOKE TO ME! ” What are you doing?” “You’re so busy going in so many different directions, not finishing what I’ve begun for you, not listening, not caring about your dream, as I care about it for you.” “STOP”
    standing in my shadow. Let me help you achieve your goal, please just focus on your goal which I’ve prepared for you.” Well, this really caused me to sob
    uncontrollably. Ever since that shocking awakening, I’ve begun to achieve the dream GOD must have for me. I’ve applied for a non-profit organization certificate, I’m learning how to write a grant. I’m going to realize my dream of a retreat setting “Total Wholeness” where folks of all ages and all problems can come to be healed. Body Mind and Spirit will be addressed. Doctors, Nurses, Clergy, Physical & Psychological Therapists. A central dining room offering
    whole foods which will be grown on the grounds. Individual rooms or cottages.
    After speaking to Dominican Rehab, they encouraged me to complete this and said they would refer their patients and they would also come. There doesn’t seem to be anything addressing this anywhere. I am now rising above my dry spell. It is not only pouring rain; but it just thundered and brought lightening bolts at the Hot Springs Spa I’m attending. This further tells me who’s reminding me to stay focused and not deviate from my dream.

  3. Julie says

    As a wannabe writer and someone who has spent most of her life envious of other peoples writing abilities, I was so excited to find your website. I couldn’t wait for Tuesday, so that I could receive my first writing prompt and get started on this new adventure of possibility. Imagine my disappointment as I read the first prompt. “ Tell me about a time you went through a dry spell and how it ended. I was immediately triggered, “What! I thought. “What kind of question is that” “How could she ask that of first time writers who have never really written anything” “Dry spell” “How would I know what a dry spell would feel like, let alone how it ended.”
    I was so angry I was ready to hit the delete button and unsubscribe to your email immediately. Then I thought, “wait a minute” “If you want to write, than you better start writing” If you don’t like the question, than write about it.” So here I am, letting everyone whose reading this know, I haven’t had a dry spell, unless you call the space in between things that I’ve written, “dry.” And, if we’re looking at endings, well, something has just shifted for me, so this ending must be just the beginning.
    Thanks Laura!

    • says

      Julie, welcome to the Roadmap blog! I was so happy you went ahead and posted, even though the prompt was not what you’d hoped for. Please come back and post again and again. Also, if you like, you can click through to former prompts and still add your voice to those. You may not get as many responses to past writing prompts, but they are still open to new entries. I look forward to hearing your voice again soon. P.S. Reading your post, I can tell you you are more than just a wannabe writer. You are already a writer. Look at what you wrote–there’s dialogue, humor, honesty, and a storyline. You are already on your way.

    • Ilana says

      Julie- Congratulations on pushing yourself. It’s nice to hear someone else gets upset before she begins to write. I’ve been a part of this community since November and never missed a week. I eagerly await Tuesdays to get the prompt. This last month or so I have felt really challenged by each one. For the last three weeks I’ve decided not to write and then changed my mind. (and two weeks ago on “Forgiveness” I nearly spit at the screen.) Welcome. I hope you will post again. IM

    • Debbie says

      Julie – one of the first and most impactful things I learned from Laura was that is okay to write the “worst crap in the world” if I needed to. Sometimes when I sit down to write – I tell myself maybe today will be the day when I write the worst crap in the world – but it is okay because at least I sat down to write. Like Ilana – I have been a steady contributor to this blog since last fall. I use the prompts to try develop some discipline (not a natural gift for me) around my writing – at least once a week. That has really helped – and the reward for my “toil” is I get to read what others have written which is very inspiring.
      P.S. – By the way – your post was far from the “worst crap in the world”. I enjoyed the humor and honesty very much. Welcome!

  4. Nance Crosby says

    I so identify with Fran…but The Voice has not yelled loud enough for me. I seem to fill my days and nights with so much “doing” and so little “being” which destroys and chokes my creative initiative. Thanks for the reflection maybe seeing my face in your mirror will help me resist succumbing to the frantic so easily.

    • says

      Nance, Welcome to the blog. I understand what “frantic” means–and it is something we all struggle with. Our whole lives conspire to keep us from writing sometimes.

    • Debbie says

      Hi Nance – there is always “something else to do” isn’t there? And the writing waits for us, passively, patiently to return. Welcome.

  5. Frances Lesenski Talamantes says

    I have been on a dry spell for 3 years. In that time period I moved, had 2 grand children and was ill on and off for a year.
    I am now back on the “writing road”. I am now feeling better and the kids have grown up and are easier to deal with (physically). I am now more relaxed and able to participate in life. It took the participation in life and having better health to get me back to writing. I now have more of a zest for life, which was something that i had lost.
    I am anxious to keep on and on writing. Things come to me now.

    • Ilana says

      Francis- I loved reading this. First, it was invigorating to hear about “things keep coming to me.” Isn’t that an amazing feeling? Second, you acknowledged how hard it is to ‘participate in life’ as you put it, when we are so busy taking care of the children. Mine are 4, 6 and 8. Often fully days go by when I find I’ve stolen all of 20 minutes to myself and believe me, that time is stolen. I also understand where you are coming from on illness causing a dry spell. I had an emergency surgery that took a year and a half recovery. It certainly zaps your creative juices. You addressed so much in so few words. Thank you for sharing. IM

  6. Laura says

    Two years ago I told my husband of twenty-three years that I wanted to end our marriage. For months leading up to that moment, I had prayed for direction. Then I was assaulted by clarity and there was no turning back. Leaving the marriage was probably the best decision I have ever made.

    Entering the marriage was probably the worse decision of my life. At age twenty-four I married someone I probably shouldn’t have even had a second date with, but hindsight is 20/20 and can easily lead to judging oneself too harshly. In reality, I made the best decision I could at the time. One of the main reasons I married and moved away was that I needed a LOT of distance to heal from childhood abuse and my family’s ongoing and unconscious conspiracy of denial.

    After my husband and I separated, I began referring to myself during the marriage as “a plant in a closet.” And a plant cannot thrive without water or light. I had chosen to marry someone who had and still has little ability to nourish. Over the course of the marriage I had worked very hard on healing from my painful childhood and I had made many efforts to make the marriage work. I finally had grown enough emotionally that I could see all too clearly the corner I had painted myself into — by marrying someone with a progressive addiction to alcohol. Although I felt that I was in some ways abandoning my husband, it was necessary for me to disentangle myself from an unhealthy situation in which we had come to bring out the worst in each other.

    Although I have been writing and expressing myself in various creative endeavors since childhood, in the last two years I have had a growing flood of creative energy and passion. My writing has improved significantly though I have less time to do it. And the divorce has had a ripple effect in improving almost all areas of my life, including other relationships. Many people have commented on my “radiance” and asked me what I am doing. Well, I don’t sleep enough (see last week’s post on neglect!) or eat as well as I would like. And as a single mom, I often run around like a chicken with my head cut off. But, in the big picture, I am happier than I have ever been. I am on the right path now and amidst all the stress there is an undercurrent of ease and clarity in being myself more fully. I will not allow myself to be stifled and that is all the nourishment I need.

    In reading this over, I seem to be rambling a bit. But — in the interest of nourishing myself — I am going to set aside trying to improve this post. I am going to stop here and go to bed!

    • says

      Laura, I love your example. I’m sure it was terrifying to leave a known situation for the unknown. And I love how freeing your energy and taking that huge life risk freed you.

    • Debbie says

      Laura – there are many parts of your journey to which I can deeply relate. What I enjoyed most was the growing feeling of vitality in your writing as the piece progressed, Even the verbs/phrases you choose are infused with energy: ” growing flood of creative energy and passion”, “run around like a chicken with my head cut off”, : rambling”. I am so glad you didn’t edit the work but shared it with us and got some extra sleep instead!

  7. says

    My “dry spell” has probably been about the last 10 years of my life. I feel into a deep abyss–never to be seen or heard from again–until now. Now, I feel like I’m emerging–rather slowly yet so quickly at the same time.. Here’s the problem I’m feeling now though: I feel as thought the level of personal growth I experienced during my “dry spell” was so phenomenal that it really wasn’t a “dry spell” at all–even though on the outside looking in, it certainly may have appeared so. So now, I’ve become a bit “addicted” to the personal growth aspect and think I am almost a bit “afraid” of coming out of my self-professed (but not) “dry spell.” Well, I suppose maybe a part of me is still being liberated from society (and my familyf origin’s) definition of what a “productive” life is supposed to “look like,” i.e. many activities, productive work life, friends, family, etc. as opposed to what, say, an artist or a sort of “deeper thinking” person’s guide to what a good life could look like. I mean, heck, some of the best writing I’ve ever done came after days of feeling like I was in virtual emotional torture, not sleeping, not eating, etc. Some of our great artists and thinkers were, in fact, nutty as hell! So, what’s a gal to do when she realizes that this new “universe” that she was so unwittingly introduced to (i.e. the seeming “productiveness” of despair) is so rich and quite meaningful while the so-called “outside” world of “keeping up with the Joneses” is the real myth!

    Well, I guess maybe i’m now trying to integrate the two a little bit.. Perhaps realizing that I don’t always have to be down in the dumps but can maybe still have access to this “rich universe” of thought, growth and creationism, while also creating an “outer” life that can be filled with some joy, happiness and stability. Boy, this life thing sure is tough–hope I can figure it out by the end of today..

    • says

      Sangeeta, I think it’s a unfortunate myth that creativity and inspiration can only occur when we’re in pain or suffering. I have never found that to be the case personally. There of our course all the famous writers who committed suicide–but a multitude of others who write leading happy and stable lives. Pain is not a prerequisite for creativity or creative expression. Muses can be found everywhere. For your own mental health, it’s so important to learn to write under all circumstances–so that you don’t feel you have to “suffer” in order to write.

  8. Ilana says

    Anything But A Dry Spell
    (But that’s exactly what it feels like.)

    My dry spell began on November 16, 2003 at 10:09 am when Dr. Blumberg told me to reach down and pull my baby the rest of the way out of my body.

    “I don’t want to hurt him.” I most likely whined it. After 34 hours of labor and two and a half hours of pushing I wasn’t capable of much else.

    “You’re not going to hurt him.” I did as I was told and she saw the rest of the baby. “And it’s a girl.” I put the wiggling, gray lizard on my chest and burst into tears. I had wanted a daughter so badly that I had convinced myself I was having a boy.

    From that moment on everything was about my children and I seemed to disappear. I quit my job to stay home with my baby. Admittedly, it was a job I hated but it was helping me to accrue hours towards my LPC. (Licensed Professional Counselor, I had a master’s degree in counseling psychology) Now I’ve got this MA after my name which seems to mean nothing given high school drop outs can raise children. I’ve been out of the work force for almost nine years. My résumé has a nine year hole in it. I fully intend to continue to devote myself to my family so that hole is only going to get bigger. I look at my husband’s four page résumé and turn an ugly shade of green, even as he goes on about how he couldn’t have done any of it without my support. All I can think is the question “What do you do for a living?” and the answer “I’m nothing, just a mom.”

    Don’t get me wrong. I adore my children. I now have three, 4, 6 and 8 years old. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world but sometimes it feels like I traded everything else in the world for them. For a long time everything I did was about the children. I joined a MOMS club and enrolled in mom and tot classes. Both of which felt like I was back in junior high, watching the in group put me on the outside. I did a lousy job of cooking, cleaning and doing laundry for my family. The entirety of my ‘me’ time was spent working out, with the unattainable goal of erasing the evidence of my pregnancies. Eventually, I grew restless. I needed a creative outlet. I needed to be something besides a mother. This led me to trying a variety of hobbies; cross stitching, tap dancing, scrap booking, Israeli dancing, the list goes on and on. Nothing was enough for me. Writing, something that had once meant so much to me, seemed as far away as my education. “Dry spell” is the only way I can describe this time in my life.

    So what changed? Nothing. Nothing and everything. After my son was born and I realized my child bearing years were over, I became obsessed with the idea that I might have another aneurysm. My first one had been 8 years earlier and they gave me a clean bill of health that was meant to last ten years. After that I had a 10% chance of a reoccurrence. I had been extraordinarily lucky to survive undamaged the first time and the recovery from the surgery had been horrific. Pushed to the limit by my terror, I finally went back to writing. It got me through the excruciating month of testing. Thankfully, the final result was another clean bill of health and a confidant prediction that there would be no reoccurrence, ever. But I didn’t stop writing. In fact over the last three and a half years I have written a little over 2, 000 pages. It’s been delicious. It’s been nourishing. It’s been exhilarating. It hasn’t been enough.

    I am very busy now, growing and changing. A year ago I finally faced the fact that I am a survivor of incest and I am still entrenched in the uphill battle to come to grips with my past and overcome the havoc it has wreaked on me. I’m in therapy three hours a week between individual counseling and the support group. I’ve come so far; overcoming my fears of cooking and driving. My husband is so proud of me. He calls me his “domestic diva”. My writing has been an integral part of my healing. Yet still, I feel I am not producing anything the world can actually use.

    Is it a dry spell? I’m growing, changing and writing but I’m still trapped in this life dependant on my healing, on the needs of my children, the needs of my husband. Maybe one day I’ll look back on these years and remember what I did for them, what they did for me, and smile. Maybe I’ll decide that this was anything but a dry spell.

    • Ilana says

      I don’t know where else to put this so please forgive me if it feels inappropriate here. I’m just feeling a desperate need to be honest for a change. All the lengths I have gone to with fake names and places, I need to tell you all the truth now. I am from Aurora, Colorado. The shooting happened ten minutes from my home. Thankfully, no one I know was injured that night but my heart cries for the victims. My community is operating under a cloud of anguish right now and for more than a full day I was not able to let my six year old out of my sight. Most of the time I had to be in constant physical contact with her; carrying her on my hip or holding her hand. It is heartbreaking to imagine the little girl just like her who just learned to swim… My children call her “the girl who liked ice cream who something bad happened to.” Anyway, thank you for letting me share. Again, I apologize if it seemed inappropriate here. sIMz

      • says

        Ilana, I’m so glad you wrote here and shared what is happening in your world. All of us have been shocked by what happened, but we think of it and then go on with our lives. For you, this is your safety and your family’s safety in the most visceral way. Please feel free to share anything you want about it here. This is your space and as I always tell my writers on retreats and in person, “You don’t always have to follow the prompt. Whatever you need to write about will come out anyway.”

        • Ilana says

          Thank you. It was a huge relief to share with this supportive community how the shooting affected me. I feel much better having done so.

      • Debbie says

        Ilana – this post made me cry. Little by little you have come to share more details of your life with this group. My sister was visiting me when the shooting happened along with two of her children. They live in Castle Rock, and knew someone who was hurt in the shooting. I felt guilty at my relief they were in California versus Colorado when this happened. In fact, they had planned to attend the midnight showing of this same movie – but here not there. I can’t begin to imagine how I would feel to be so close to a site of such tragedy. I am glad you wrote about this. And I want to say that while we may not know your “true” name – you have shared quite honestly with us over these past months – often with startling clarity and impact. Thank you.

      • Terry Gibson says

        It is a horror and to be so close to it is awful. Wishing that a feeling of safety returns quickly. I feel sad for those who lost their lives or were injured. I’d be equally terrified, especially with young children. You are a great Mom. Try to believe that, okay? (Feel free to challenge me on something if you like.)

    • says

      The only thing wrong is your frame of reference. You’re in one of the most creative, vital, vibrant times of your life. The fact that you have written so much with three small children is phenomenal. You rock and only your monkey mind is getting in the way–a dry spell. Nope. Not a chance. Just keep that pen moving. It will lead the way.

      • Ilana says

        Wow, Laura- You’ve given me a lot to think about. You’ve also pointed some things I’ve been missing. Zander is currently trying to arrange it so I can go to one of your weekend classes. I think that would be amazing.

    • Debbie says

      Ilana – what you describe sounds like such a rich tapestry of experience that will infuse your writing for years to come. Based on what you have shared over the past months, in your writing by the way, there are many ways you have touched the lives of others with kindness. And you have touched the lives of this community with kindness. There was a specific reply you made when I was struggling with the realization my brother’s wife was dying that brought me such comfort. You are not invisible, you are not insignificant. You are magnificent! …. Now repeat that to yourself three timesf!!

      • Ilana says

        Wow. Thank you, Debbie. I’ll reread this when I need a pep talk. Sometimes it’s hard to see our own attributes and those of us who are really lucky hear it when someone like you points them out. I’m so glad I feel safe enough to share my true self here. IM

    • Terry Gibson says

      Ilana, first off, Dry Spell. I am not a mother, but if you don’t mind, I’d like to say this. You really capture the special kind of anguish you are living. I see and feel it. Some people might think “Just a Mom” and twenty years ago, given my history, I thought the same, based on ignorance. Now I know very differently. Moms are everything to their kids, until they start growing up and wanting to branch out; while that is great and you love them, your Ilana-time shrinks to a tiny half-hour or something. The gaps in the resume and feelings of jealousy are things I deal with as well. Also, having that intellectual prowess, and not being acknowledged or paid for it; that is my deepest anguish. Hearing you’ve been losing yourself in your writing is very exciting! I love knowing it gives such pleasure to you, to work with your characters and enjoy them. Dry spell? Maybe not, especially based on your accumulated work. A multi-faceted spell? Also, many women write about their kids and motherhood. There could be a lot of fodder there.

      • Ilana says

        Terry- Thanks for the reminders. First, about how important mothers are to their children (often the children try to hide that information from us) and how much I can do for the world from this place I am living in. My fondest wish is to feel that when I leave this earth it will have been better off for my having been here. Thanks for reminding me how possible this goal is. IM

  9. Debbie says

    The drought ended when my heart cracked open. At the moment when the lightening strikes of realization cleft my carefully crafted fantasy into pieces. Torrents of tears first washed clean the sticky dust of indifference and faded passion. Then raging rivers of pain eroded away the walls that had been my protection and prison.

    It is only now, looking back over the dustbowl of the past two decades, that I can see how arid the land had grown. How totally incapable it was of maintaining any more than early shoots of intimacy.

    Today, there is only one tending the garden. My untrained fingers are learning how to work the soil. At times, I tire of being a solitary gardener. I sit, head bowed, shoulders tight, alone – studying the fertile earth stuck between my toes.

    On those days, I wonder what crop will come from the seeds sown. And when.

    • Ilana says

      Debbie- So beautiful and bittersweet. I am so glad that you chose to write on this prompt. I love your descriptions, “the sticky dust of indifference.” The whole second paragraph took me by the heart. If I quoted every part of this that touched me I’d just end up reproducing your work here, in my comment section. Then the hope for the future that you infused into the last part. It’s not an ending, it is fertile soil between your toes. I wish you peace and joy in your new life. IM

  10. Terry Gibson says

    Since attending Commonweal last July, my year was anything but a dry spell, especially in comparison to the previous fifteen. However, there were times where I would be so spent from all of my other work that it seemed my creative juices had just evaporated. During these times, I hovered somewhere between depression and a deep anxiety that I was all washed up before I even started. I wrote many pieces only to delete. Delete. Delete.

    Enter my second retreat under the awesome and skilled guidance of Laura. It could not have come a day too soon. Prior to that, I wanted to be a talking head in a jar; I was willing to forgo everything physical (bad, of course, and good)—panic attacks, jolts of pain, joy, curled toes, hugs, fear, the feel of scrubbing my feet with a loofa, and lounging in a cat-claw tub, while burning a candle. I would live in my own home in a pickle jar on a shelf. When I’d tune in to Terry-specific weather reports–a monthly subscription of mine from another social media brain in the outersphere–I almost always heard the word ‘perfect.’ “In tomorrow’s forecast,” boasted my meteorologist, “… look for a gentle splash of vinegar on the horizon, but only as long as the breeze stays soft and gentle. Do watch for that german shepherd you insisted on buying though. He likes sniffing and jostling you and your things around at night when you meditate.” Yep. On nothing but a slow stew, with almost no interference, I’d bob around, excited by my new thought-to-internet enhancements. I’d finally found what works for me.

    Once I hit Bolinas, the allure of being a quivering gray matter blob in a jar? Likability scale–not so much. When I ‘came down’ from the stress of my outside life, I found myself enjoying every second. I was in the midst of twenty-two other writers, all of whom were from different avenues of life, which added to the wealth of creativity, knowledge, wisdom and jokesters. I was in awe of the company I was keeping. How lucky was I?

    During those six days, the environment was electric. We enjoyed healthy, delicious food, wrote a lot, shared our work with everyone, as well as in smaller groups. We all become less-frantic versions of ourselves. With two good sleeps under my belt, I was so relaxed, I didn’t recognize myself. If pictures followed my progress, they would have started with my stoic and exhausted face, with huge circles under my eyes, and my mouth held tight. Shortly after, a new photo would’ve depicted the shift. My face was rested and had a kiss of the sun on both cheeks. I was flushed, doubled over, slapping my knee, and laughing so hard, tears bubbled from my eyes, nose, and even ears, it seemed. I was even in physical pain but the hilarity that ensued from that mix of people, blunted out anything that hurt.

    Saying ‘vamoose’ to my dry spell is extremely scary to me. I never shared this but need to do so here now. For anyone who doesn’t know, I’m working on a memoir about my life and survival. In 1987, I submitted what I thought was a book proposal to a friend who worked at a publishing house. Saving qualifiers for another time, when I heard nothing, I somehow found the courage to call her; when I asked, she stammered in between long silences and, I thought, laughed. This was the final straw; I gave up and started selling everything I owned. Within a week, I overdosed and was revived a couple times in Emergency. I was just a joke and didn’t have the will to live it any more.

    Things are very different now but I started having panic attacks in the latter days of the retreat. I was terrified that–even though I think I’m more knowledgable and emotionally able to handle it–I just might be wrong. I needed to make that vulnerability known so I could counteract it with kind, straight-up-honest, gentle voices. I could not do so before leaving, which is why I’m doing so now.

    The end of my dry spell is exhilarating, life-affirming, freeing, and so stimulating. And I could not be in more capable, kind, honest, and down-to-earth hands than those of Laura, David and The Writer’s Journey. I trust them implicitly and vow to do the same with myself as well, even with my fears and occasional obsessing on the times I fell in the past.

    • Ilana says

      Terry- I love the images in your writing. I have really benefited from reading your previous work because this took me further on a journey you started before. Watching the “brain in a jar” idea develop was really great. I loved how you took us from that being a positive thing to realizing you are much happier being in your real self. Debbie’s comment stated it beautifully when she described you sharing your work in a “vibrant alive female body”. It felt like such a triumph. I also appreciated your sharing how scary it is to “say vamoose” to your dry spell. Change, even for a good reason, is very scary sometimes. I have thought I was going crazy when, in my healing journey, I started to move out of that emergency stage and didn’t know how to deal with feeling good. Thank you for acknowledging that even the end of something painful and the beginning of something beautiful can be scary. I hope, one day, to go on one of these writing retreats and introduce myself to you with my real name. “It’s nice to meet you but you already know me quite well, as ‘Ilana’. ” Wouldn’t that be wonderful? IM

      • Debbie says

        Ilana – Terry and I didn’t know we were the “Terry and Debbie” from the blog until the last day. How amazing was that?! Both names common enough not to make that assumption. But once we realized who we were – and that we already had a connection – guess what the next question was? We wondered if you were there, too, and we didn’t know it because you were using a different name! I hope when you finally are able to join one of Laura’s sessions “in person” – I will be in that group!

      • Debbie says

        Ilana – this is such a great point! I am sometimes confused why positive change still can cause me to stumble. I have a hard time admitting that if the change is “good” – that I am having trouble adjusting. Somehow it seems like I should only be happy and not acknowledge the discomfort and/or grief that this new direction brings as well. Thank you for helping me to see this more clearly.

        • Ilana says

          Debbie- I am glad you took something from my point. I learn so much from you all here and sharing helps me to grasp my own understandings. In addition I want to thank you all for your comments about the retreats. I am flying high on the e-hug I just got! I’m so thrilled I found this community. IM

      • Terry Gibson says

        Ilana, Thanks for enjoying my silliness about the brain in the jar. I had fun playing with the idea. Like Laura and Debbie, I’d love you to come up to me at a retreat and introduce yourself, any old way you like! Even if you didn’t tell me who you were on here, I know we’d connect as we did in the beginning. Without prior knowledge. Take care.

        • Ilana says

          Oh no, Terry. I have not intention of keeping my Ilana identity a secret. If I get to go to a retreat my name tag will have my real name in small letters and then “AKA Ilana” very large underneath. I’ll keep dreaming about it. Be well, IM

  11. Debbie says

    Terri – I enjoyed your post on many levels. First it took me back to the magic of Commonweal. I could see you sitting across the room, both of us laughing until tears came. And your face, as you presented your excellent work at Monday evening’s “performance”. No, not a brain in a jar – but in a vibrant, alive female body. Thank you for reminding me of such a special time!

    • Terry Gibson says

      Debbie, thanks. You made me crack up! I remembered that I was often across from you while I tried not to pee myself laughing. So funny. It was so great to have shed so many layers of stoicism in only a few days. Also, thanks for reminding me that you saw my right hand shaking while I read at the podium, and how I just grabbed it with my left to stop the distraction. Another funny memory that just came up.

  12. Bobbie Anne says

    I go through dry spells from time to time. When that occurs, I write poems, stories, and I share my writing here. I actually had a dry spell for a few weeks. I found that I missed sharing and reading all the wonderful posts. I feel like I’m with friends and I laugh and cry and smile. Thanks everyone for making my day!

    • Debbie says

      Bobbie Anne – I feel the same way. Some of us have been sharing together in this space for almost a year. Amazing! We tell each other things that we may never have told anyone ever before. I am glad you have come back – hope you stick around!

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