events

Coming this May!

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Wabi-Sabi for Writers
A weekend writing workshop co-led with Laurie Wagner

May 3-5, 2019
Nutley, New Jersey

In traditional Japanese aesthetics, “wabi-wabi” translates as the acceptance of imperfection. Its aspects include asymmetry, roughness, quirkiness, and a flawed beauty that heightens the uniqueness, freshness, and natural integrity of objects, places, and environments.

In writing, our ambitions are often the opposite. We pursue perfection in our work – sharp, clear, unblemished lines that belie the effort it took to create them. Aiming for seamlessness, we work to cover the cracks in our construction, any visible evidence that threatens the picture of our wholeness. But often this labor results in losing the fundamental spontaneity of our relationship with our creative voice, and feeling a life-force of joy and connection drain from us as we navigate the confines of bringing our work to completion.

“Wabi-Sabi for Writers” is a weekend writing workshop that will engage participants to discover and celebrate the wobbly journey of embracing the stories that want to be told, and telling them truthfully. We will write and we will read.

I will be leading this retreat with seasoned facilitator (and my frequent writing partner) Laurie Wagner. We’ll dive into the troubled waters of the writing practice, and learn how to loosen our process – rather than confine it – to take deeper risks with our voice and give our work new clarity and strength.

DETAILS

dates and times
Friday night May 3, 2019: 7-9PM
Saturday May 4, 2019: 9:30AM-4:30PM
Sunday May 5, 2019: 9:30AM-4:30PM

where
Nutley, New Jersey (25 minutes from Newark International Airport)

cost
$500 Includes delicious catered lunch both days, snacks, coffee and daily delectables. Workshop is limited to 12 participants.

about Laurie Wagner
Laurie is the creator of 27 Powers and has been leading “Wild Writing” workshops for the past 25 years. She is a process guru and has a genius for holding space, helping people unzip what’s inside of them, and get ink on the page. A creative brain-stormer, she specializes in out-of-the-box ways to tell your stories. Her “Wild Writing” classes- live and online – are the cornerstone of her current work. She is the author of Living Happily Ever After: Couples Talk about Long Term Love, and Expectations: 30 Women Talk about Becoming a Mother. You can find her online at www.27powers.org.

To reserve your spot, go here: https://27powers.org/product/wabi-sabi/.


Right Here, Right Now Retreat
A Winter Adventure in Curiosity & Creative Action

February 6-10, 2019
Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Right here, right now; 8:31 a.m.

An ailing dog. The whine of air conditioners. Recycling day. The gnaw of my wife’s allergies. The Newark Airport flight path. The real estate of a mood. Is it possible to not be a morning person without being an asshole? All the ways I dream of briefly disappearing. Cocktails on the lanai at Laurie’s island house. The bike ride to the Montague Bookmill. The aerie at 171 Duncan. The campground at Burnt Cabins with Grace that first year. The view from the top of the Headlands. The stretch of Route 2 across North Dakota where I recognized solitude as the most capable and comforting of companions. Another car driving too fast down Dodd Street. The schools closing early due to the heat. The final sips of coffee. Wondering what, in Pixie’s words, will be learned today, and what will be dismantled.
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In September 2018, I began a daily writing practice on Facebook called “Right here, right now.” Rather than focusing on the craft of writing itself, I turned my attention instead to whatever it was that came into my view.

Whether it was a physical object or sensation, an internal musing, a memory, or something that defied categorization or context, I wrote it down.

The practice gave me new insight into the value of leaning into the dance of my own mind, following the impulse of my attention. Writing daily in this way was infectious - I kept wanting to do it - and along the way I gathered a community of fellow noticers equally transfixed by the potent material of the present tense. It is the beginning of December as I write this, and the daily practice has continued.

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“Right here, right now” is:

• a daily practice of observation

• an invitation to listen, explore, create, trust, and devote attention to the present tense

• a way of honoring the natural rhythms of our thoughts, feelings, experiences, and actions

• a communal gathering space for reflection and truth-telling

• a celebration of the unfolding narrative of who we are, what we believe, and how we understand the world we live in

• a container for courage, curiosity, and connection

This February, I’m offering an opportunity to gather for four days of “Right here, right now” exploration. You’ll enjoy:

•a winter getaway to refresh, restore, and sustain your spirit
• twice-daily writing gatherings and (optional) sharing
• daily adventures and photo walks to discover the beachside communities of Ocean Grove, Asbury Park, and more
• safe and supportive risk-taking (Think impromptu a capella singing on the boardwalk, a daredevil dip in the waves, or creating a piece of public art.)
• collaborative, experiential spontaneity (What do you want to do in the moment? Let’s do it together!)
• an intimate gathering space to claim, celebrate, and magnify your creative potential

“Right here, right now” - the practice and this winter’s retreat - is about what happens in the spur of a moment’s curiosity, and what it means to honor the intelligence and instruction of our attention. Our time together will include invitations to navigate the unplanned and unexpected.  My intention is for us to come away with a sense of possibility, to feel the electrical current of our own power and how we might continue to use, or find new ways of applying it in the narrative of our regular lives. I hope you’ll consider joining me to dive deeply into what these four days in February will hold, to have a look around and peek behind the metaphorical furniture together.

This will be a small gathering - I am limiting the retreat size to 12. We will be staying in a former B&B one block from the ocean. Shared and single-occupancy accommodation (with private bath) are available. $1,095-$1,420 includes the retreat cost, lodging and most meals. A commuter option is available at a reduced rate for those within driving distance.

Deposits to hold your space are as follows:
• $250 (commuters)
• $350 (shared room / shared bath)
• $500 (private room / private bath)

Deposits refundable up to 28 days prior to retreat. Remaining payments due 14 days before retreat begins; payment plans are available by request.

Any questions? Write to me, or visit this FAQ page. You can also skip to the deposit link (below) to secure your spot.

photo by Elaine Morales

photo by Elaine Morales

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photo by Elaine Morales

photo by Elaine Morales

Right Here, Right Now Retreat deposit
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photo by Elaine Morales

photo by Elaine Morales

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photo by Elaine Morales

photo by Elaine Morales