“This place and what a world it was.”
~ from the Metaphysicians of South Jersey by Stephen Dunn


Walking through life, something most of us desire at a fundamental level is to be seen. Not physically seen, but seen through unfiltered lenses ~ for Who We Are at our core.

This past weekend Lynne and I had the immense privilege of spending the weekend at a retreat in Alameda, California with one of our superheroes, Andrea Scher, our new found writing mentor, Laurie Wagner, and 16 or so other creative seekers.

We spent our time speaking the language of poetry and paint. Opening to the possibility that our voice matters, and the whispers we hear are meant to be shared. Encouraged to divulge that thought that instantly wanted to protect itself in our scared little selves ~ and feeling bolder and braver by voicing what felt impossible (or even inappropriate!). Tears popping up from what another tender heart needed to birth… and knowing we were all so safe and held.

Ripping paper that “spoke to us” and gluing it down ~ all the while having conversations with near strangers that went to a level deeper than it ever does with most people we see on a daily basis. Getting ooey-gooey ~ paint oozing deep into our fingernails ~ not caring (so much) about the end-product, but realizing that during the process is where life itself occurs.


“This place and what a world it was.”

I truly did feel held ~ amongst members of a freshly formed tribe ~ where we saw art in the bark of trees, marveled in green lady bugs, shared recipes for granola (we were in Northern California – it makes sense!), and delighted in finding a “catch light” in Arleta’s big beautiful eyes. Names like Patti Digh (“Life is a Verb”) and Keri Smith (“Wreck This Journal”) were easily explained, if not already familiar. Doing a spontaneous hand stand against the tree in the park didn’t feel ridiculous, and stopping in the middle of the street because I had to take a photo of a man hole seemed so obvious ~ thank goodness the oncoming car decided my photo was important too!



After this lovely weekend, although I want the temporary “world” it became to feel special and sacred, I also want this to become more of my everyday… I want my tribe to be obvious to me ~ or more importantly, just BE my authentic self in every situation and my tribe will know me… If there were 20 lucky souls who convened and discovered we weren’t alone in our creative desires on October 11-13 in Alameda, there must be many more of you lurking out there. With practice I’m sure I will get better and better at feeling instant kinship, but in the meantime, can we come up with a secret tribal handshake, or nod, or symbol?

Namaste my friends. I see your light. Thank you for seeing mine.


You may also like...


  1. Love this – you’re so right. I want so much more of this in my every day life. I’ve found myself feeling less self-conscious and also more open all week. Yay. So glad we met and AMAZING WEBSITE!!

  2. What a beautiful recap of a wonderful weekend, Suzee. I feel so blessed to have been there with you and Lynne. And yes to both keeping weekends like this special, *and* to incorporating them more and more into daily life! That’s what makes life worth living, if you ask me. 🙂

  3. Suzee, So beautiful, your words…I enjoyed meeting you and Lynne and sharing Indian food. Thank you for inviting me. The weekend was amazing and so filling yet I left feeling light and airy. The feeling really hasn’t gone away for me – much of that I think is because I can feel all of you in your blogs, websites and posts to facebook. What an amazing gift we have been given by Andrea and Laurie, our fearless leaders (and even Alexandria Franzen)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *