This morning I facilitated the first session of the Write for your Life workshops I am convening. All of the participants wrote beautifully, and we all surprised ourselves with our creativity (especially on the Star Wars prompt!) The next set of workshops will begin in mid-March.
Following is my piece from the last prompt of the morning, a letter to my year-ago self.
You have a hell of a year ahead of you! Two complete moves, one to the mountains, one back into town are the main features of 2015. And even though both of these upheavals are their own versions of coming home, they will be stressful and difficult, but oh, so worthwhile.
Your time in the mountains will be more healing than you realize now. And even though you think you are retreating to the cabin to write your stories, please try not to be too concerned when that doesn’t happen. You will undergo a process (isn’t everything a damned process?) of putting way too much pressure on your writing self, until you finally surrender and just get out, into the mountains, on foot, alone.
There, you will make friends with and receive guidance from trees (yes, really; you may even hug one once in a while) and bears (and please stop worrying; you will not be mauled.) The mountain lion will come to visit you, as will many, many birds. In fact, the only creatures that will threaten you will be birds: the grouse protecting their little ones, and the house wrens nesting above the porch. You will learn who is fierce and who is not.
You will be surprised, I’m afraid, by how difficult it is to leave the cabin. Despite the fact that you are narrowing the distance separating you to a mere 15 miles, the cabin will still be worlds away when you begin to make your new life in Livingston. Expect to cry. Expect, also, to experience many episodes of nostalgia for Mom and Dad, especially when you wander around town, walk down the river near their old house and meet friends at Chad’s remembering meeting Dad at the former Beartooth Cafe.
The whole year will be full of these ups and downs and many more, and you will love every minute.