Can you believe that as the year turns over, we will be graced with not one but two full moons? First the Wolf Moon, then a Blue Moon. Wow! What a time to set intentions, take hold of our lives, and make a run for our deepest desires. What a time to ask ourselves, once more, if we are breathing just a little and calling it a life … and if so, what better time to breathe more deeply and live more fully, today and every day.
My wish for myself, and you? That the year ahead be filled with radical, defiant art making despite—and indeed, in response to—the pressures of the world. Now, more than ever, art calls. Art catalyzes. Art transforms. I’m grateful to LA-based artist Lauren Bon for the arresting installation pictured above. The quote is from Bonn’s artist statement for a 2005 living sculpture, “Not A Cornfield.” Artists, take heed. Let's create to scale.
I, for one, will kick off 2018 with a four-week residency in Wyoming at Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts. The truth? While it’s a great honor to have been awarded this time and space, I am nervous about being away from home for a whole month, especially on a remote and secluded 55-acre ranch. There, I said it. I’m a little scared! But not as scared as I am grateful to the foundation for validating and supporting my work in this way. I’ve never written in a log studio on the shores of a creek in the shadows of the mountains. I plan to revise my novel to the howling soundtrack of Wyoming wind.
As for other ways to breathe, writing is my main art, but teaching is equally vital to me. Teaching makes me whole, and if you have studied with me, you know I love it with all my heart. So I’m thrilled to announce that registration is now open for two of our best loved and most intense writing retreats of the calendar year, Mystery of Yin and Summer Solstice. Both of these retreats can ignite and fuel your creative life in profound and lasting ways, according to the love letters we receive from those who attend.
Our Mystery of Yin retreat is for women only, and takes place April 12 – 14 on the shores of Lake Superior. This retreat offers a deep dive into the feminine creative spirit, offering carefully constructed writing exercises combined with gentle yin yoga (no experience necessary!), delicious meals, immersive art activities (again, no experience needed, we promise!), and lots of surprises. We have the historic Naniboujou Lodge all to ourselves for this very special retreat. You’ll leave with a clearer sense of your own work, a closer connection to your truest self, and a great momentum for carrying the work forward through the spring and summer.
And our sixth annual Summer Solstice Retreat on Stout’s Island takes place June 17 – 22. Our fifth anniversary retreat last year was nicknamed ER5 by attendees, many of whom reported it as literally life changing, and sometimes in surprising ways, like the writer who said the retreat transformed her marriage! While that's not our intention or our promise, we can say that if you show up and put your heart into it, you will leave with some powerful rocket fuel for your creative life, and perhaps for creating your overall life anew. If you’ve always wanted to attend an Elephant Rock Solstice Retreat and never have, this might be your year. We hope so! Because we’re planning another unforgettable week on the island.
Both of these retreats tend to sell out, so register early.
Meanwhile, stay warm, love people, tell the truth, look for beauty, and make some art, however, wherever, and as often as you can.