Saturday, October 2, 2010

An Awesome Retreat Experience

Some tamaracks near Raquette Lake

Words don't adequately express the depth of experience I felt during this past week's Nature of Possibility retreat. Afterward Mark Bowie and I were both exhausted by the hard work but so positively energized. I can say without exaggeration that we've never had a better group to work with at any of the API events. Everyone was so talented, open-minded and willing to share. This was one of those times that makes me so proud of what the Institute has accomplished, and excited to see just how far we can go.

The best part was that Mark and I were participants, instead of just leaders and instructors as we are in the standard workshops. It was really fun to be out there every morning shooting with everyone, and making prints in the afternoon to hang on our Wall of Expression.

The retreat gang and our Wall of Expression

This has turned out to be a transitional year for me. I really didn't do a lot of shooting in the Adirondacks this summer/fall. At least not as much as I usually do. It's been all about waiting patiently for my next move to make itself apparent, but there's no better place to do that than up here.

I wrote this piece as my final essay of the retreat. The retreat was ending. The leaves are falling. Everything is in transition. I am in transition. Cycles end and will begin again.

Beauty at the End

The largest tree cries tiny raindrops
While the loon lays bare its despair on the darkness.
The wind moans of regret in the ancient tongue
Of a long forgotten land.

Ours is a shared loneliness
Staggering in its depth
As the wellspring.

I know you.
I don’t know me
Although there are clues I guess.
And while yours shines indifferently
Mine remains alone and locked away.

Life rains down.
There is memory in the song.
The howl washes all away.