The first time I went to Esalen, I was 14 and since I moved back to California in 2008, this sacred and beautiful ground has become a place of great refuge for me. I left my car in Austin to fly back to California to attend the Esalen Writer's Camp. I was there for 5 days with an all-star faculty (Cheryl Strayed, Steve Almond, Alan Heathcock, Pam Houston, Sam Dunn, and Faith Adiele). I arrived, thinking I had a lot to write about. And, I do. But I couldn't seem to produce words on paper. In fact, I half-heartedly attended only 3 of the 9 classes offered. Instead, I spent time listening to the ocean, knitting a sweater for my granddaughter, soaking in the baths, taking walks, communing with nature and hanging out with the amazing and creative people with whom I have made connection at this place.
2016 brought a confluence of monumental events, leading to my decision to pursue the opportunity to take a cross-country road trip and develop a program to deliver care to people in need of hepatitis C (HCV) care. Some of those events include being CURED of HCV after having lived with the virus for at least 30 years, the end of a very lucrative job, the news that my roommate was moving, and a crack in the foundation of the home I was living in that would require significant seismic retrofitting. Before I set out on this adventure, I didn't take into account the impact these events had on my psyche. I didn't realize that I needed a break. That's how I operate. Full steam ahead.
The environment at Esalen allows for deep relaxation and once I yielded to that, I took full advantage. I didn't make progress on my memoir, have a breakthrough in my writing capabilities, or solidify my story line. I did, however, recharge my battery so that I can continue on. I'm back to Austin on July 6 to resume my journey. Thank you Esalen and my writer tribe. I'm much obliged.