Though we most often write when stationary, seated at a desk or table, the act of writing is profoundly physical. Often our best ideas arise when we are outside, moving on our own power through the world. Our mind, lulled by repetitive motion in our body, loosens with our limbs. Our stories flow when we flow.
In this retreat, we explore the connection between our physical selves and our creative minds, the link between movement and storytelling, landscape and creativity, intuition and flow. Writers, scientists, and artists have long marveled at the link between the energy of the body and the life of the mind. Transcendentalist writer Thoreau and poet Mary Oliver walked. Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami runs marathons. Master blacksmiths write memoirs. Artists and entrepreneurs surf. Photographers climb mountains. Together we explore the fundamental precursors to flow and help you discover your own
Each day is different, but on a typical day, we discuss short readings, practice sitting meditation to explore how stillness and silence help prime us for flow, and of course walk and move. We use writing prompts as a jumping-off point, and then see where our bodies lead our minds as we ramble together outside. Longer writing sessions are done as a group and individually, while we are on the go, as well as back in the classroom.
Writers are encouraged to use bring notebooks and pens for writing on the go. This is practical—unlike computers or tablets, paper doesn’t require charging, and can be easily stashed in a pocket or a pack—and it’s also a good way to rediscover the simple, physical act of moving our hand across paper, of writing itself. So often we tell ourselves we must have just the right conditions in which to write: the ideal light or desk or quiet, the right amount of background noise, the most favorable weather, the best ideas, the right editor, the right outlet. But what arises when we open to what is right in front of us, when we’re in motion? What do we see differently when we are moving through the world, in a relationship with the trees and rocks, mountains and streets, rather than looking out on them?