Thursday, October 6, 2011

One Week at Ghost Ranch

I’ve been following the activities of A Room of Her Own Foundation for almost as long as the organization has been in existence. Every two years, a one-week long retreat in August is held at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Every time there was a retreat, I thought I’d attend but as the time approached, it never seemed possible. Well, this year I actually did attend! Now, having done so, it easily could become my new obsession.
The dramatic landscape – red rock mountains, intense blue skies, unimaginable sunsets and mesas I’d seen only in postcards, is inspirational beyond belief. In fact, the ranch inspired artist Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings, a venue in which she spent so much of her time. Ghost Ranch has a way of engulfing even the most cynical in a cloak of subtle spirituality and deep contemplation.   
In August my lucky star shone! I spent an amazing week there as a participant in the AROHO retreat. Besides writing, contemplating both the physical and philosophical, I met inspiring women writers from every part of America. Each was totally unique, interesting, and creative and, if at first we thought we had nothing in common, we all seemed to have so much to share with one another.
A new friend said to me at the retreat, “You’re not anyone I would normally ever talk to.” Sounds interesting or worrisome? Not at all - I really knew exactly what she meant. For so many of us who came together during the retreat, that state was absolutely correct!  What an amazing opportunity to talk to all those women we never ever would talk to in our “normal” lives.
So, after all those conversations with so many women, four of us committed to interview as many women participants during the coming year as possible about their AROHO Retreat experiences. Each of us will be posting these interviews as they’re completed on our own blogs and then on AROHO’s.
My first post is an interview with poet Lisa Rizzo, the new friend who normally would never talk to someone like me. I hope you find the same inspiration in her words as I do.
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