Sunday, April 18, 2010


I'm not prone to melancholy as a general rule. It does sneak up on me occasionally and it's always this time of year, the time of year (if I were going to Scotland) that I'd be preparing for that journey. And, for me, it is a journey, not a trip. A journey that "eases my soul" to quote one of my favorite poets and my spiritual guide, Van Morrison.

I love Bloomington and my life here. My son is here, I have an amazing group of friends and a wonderful writing community. Yet, I long to be in Scotland. It takes a lot of energy to want to be in two places at the same time. So this is the time of year that I become very melancholy and lethargic. The past few weeks I've been doing my uncanny imitation of oatmeal. I've been a lump on the couch that doesn't move. I haven't been doing much writing, which makes me even sadder. And I've learned that being sad takes a lot of energy, what with all the sighing and such.

A couple of Sundays ago I made myself get up off the couch and go to Border's and write. (Thanks Angi MacDonald for meeting me there.) I decided to address this situation head-on. The way for me to do that is to write and the best place to address this particular issue is my blog. I've ignored this blog way too long. It's time to get back on this horse and ride.

This time last year, I was preparing for that journey. Preparing for a writing retreat on Iona. I love the ritual of preparation. I love organizing, putting mix and match outfits together, choosing and packing well so that I can travel light.

Once I had my reservation confirmed for the retreat then I started the fun (for me) part of planning out my various modes of transportation once I landed in Glasgow. Planes, trains, buses and ferries. All carefully timed and coordinated.

The retreat was all and more than I had imagined it would be. I felt very welcomed and supported by these educated, amazingly talented writers. And Angela Locke, who facilitates the retreat, felt like a kindred spirit to me immediately. She's a wonderful teacher/guide. And so is David Clemson, her co-facilitator. What better combination than a mathematician/poet? I wrote a couple of magical realism stories that were well-received. I'm still carried by my time at the retreat.

Last week at my Women Writing for a Change class I wrote to the prompt: If you saw me walking... Of course, my walking takes place in Scotland. I'm still working on it and will post it on this blog when it's ready. So I'm writing again. I won't say the clouds are lifting, because I like clouds and stormy skies, which is probably why I like Scotland so much. But the heaviness of heart is lifting so that I have the energy to write again.