I’ve held back writing more in-depth about Serendipity because I simply didn’t know what to think about the whole experience. I certainly enjoyed the retreat. My instructors, Melody Ross and Kate Inglis, were very inspirational, and the hosts and all the women I met were completely lovely, and I’d love to have more time with all of them. But still something was missing for me. I think I’ve finally realized it was intense emotion. I’ve read some of the blogs other Serendipities have written and marveled at the depth of emotions that they felt there and have felt since. I’ve struggled with that a bit, as I just didn’t feel those things. I had a nice getaway with a good friend, met some wonderful new people, ate lots of incredible food, and made some art; I did not experience deep emotions. But does that mean I didn’t get out of it what I was supposed to? I don’t think so.
During Melody’s class, we talked early on about the different types of hurts every one of us experiences. Melody broke them down into three major types that made complete sense to me: things others do directly to us, things others do that hurt us but aren’t necessary done to us, and things we do to others. I hope I’m remembering that correctly. I was easily able to think of something for each of those, so they are definitely relatable, and I was fascinated and moved by some of the raw emotion I saw in the room. After a bit more talk, we started on our books, which were to be reminders of all the things that make us feel better when we are having a difficult time with any of those hurts. Later in the afternoon, Melody circled us around for another chat, this time to talk about any shifts in thinking we’d experienced as we’d worked through the day. I didn’t really have any shifts, but I did have a bit of an “a ha!” moment, in that the three things I thought of for those three types of hurts were centered around my parents and my relationships with them. But I also shared that though I’ve been through some crap in my life (haven’t we all?), I feel like I’ve dealt with it pretty well and have moved on. I don’t dwell. I write about things, but then I try to move on…even when others try to keep me from moving on.
|Me with the super sweet, super amazing Melody Ross|
I shared with my classmates that my parents had five marriages between them, and I had lost my mom to suicide nearly 14 years ago while she was going through her third divorce. But still, even with that, I shared that I’ve been happy with my life; I believe that I have a gift for being able to find the positives in things. Was it hard to find the positives in my parents’ multiple divorces and my mother’s suicide? Heck yeah, it was. There were definitely some very dark times there. But now, ultimately, I think my father is happy, my mother is walking on golden streets, and I have a loving husband, two incredible children, and a happy little roof over our heads. We all make our own choices, and I’ve chosen to be happy. My life is good. I think I wrapped it all up pretty well here.
|A little tendril of focus|
I know you’re probably scratching your head wondering how the heck I got to this point in this post when I started talking about what my creative endeavors have taught me this year. I’m not sure myself! I think my revelation is I’ve accepted that though I may come across many women who bare their deepest souls and emotions through experiencing art-making, I just don’t. And that’s okay. Both for them and for me. For me, at 48, playing with art is an escape, it’s an antidote to a stressful week at work, it’s something fun to do with my girls. I like getting my fingers messy with paint. But I process the difficult things through putting my feet to the pavement or taking long bubble baths with a good book. That is simply me, at 48, at 28, and hopefully at 88!
|From my "Photocraptastic" assignment with Kate|