WARNING: This blog post will not do the following experience justice.
On June 14th I left Columbus and with help from the lovely Lauren Zuniga and her driving monster Jerre-made my way to Rochester, NY and the home of Rachel McKibbens for the Pink Door Women’s Writing and Good Idea Summit. Somewhere around 30 women showed up over the 4 day retreat. We ate amazingly thanks to Rachel’s wonderful partner Jacob. We drank gallons of lemonade and cucumber water.We talked we wrote. We discussed sex and gender and relationships and babies and standards and race and writing. We danced. I learned how to do The Wobble. We read poetry from a pulpit and devoured pies. We hugged and told secrets. We stayed up late and go bug bitten.
For me this was an exercise in learning to be comfortable in my ferocity-not in terms of being challenged or baring teeth but in terms of being around other ferocious women and knowing I belong among them. I suffer a crisis of confidence sometimes like many of us but lately its been a longer road than usual-I am not completely over it but because of this retreat I know it is a growing pain and not a ending to anything.
Once everyone started to leave on Monday morning Rachel M talks me into exchanging my ticket and staying another couple days. She could have shoved me out the door and I would not have thought twice about it as she had just hosted all these women and there was sleep debt and dishes stacked everywhere. I have no idea why she made the offer but I am glad I accepted as I needed to hide away for a couple of days after having recently quit my awful call center job and feeling rather lost. It was nice to relax and process and talk about things that I had not about my poetry slam scene and my experience in it.Rachel is a string around my finger of all of the strong I am and all of the amazing things I am capable of. I feel endlessly lucky to know her.
I would be lying if I said this trip didn’t leave me seriously contemplating a move to Rochester.