I’m home now, and coming down from a three-day adrenaline rush and I need to write about what happened at Gather California before I lose my nerve.
I’ll caution you right now, if you’re not into reading mushy posts you might want to move on … but I’m not going to apologize.
So here it is; an attempt to describe a bit about my personal experience at Gather California.
First there was a feeling of disbelief of actually meeting people that I’ve followed and admired for years. People that have inspired me with their stunning photography, heartfelt words, and amazing art.
Walking up to the front door of the house that first night and being greeted with screams and laughter, and being given the biggest bear hug from Kim (uh oh, I’m tearing up right now as I type) was, in a word, surreal. I’m sure I don’t have to tell anyone reading this post how amazing it was to meet her, and what a blessing it is to know her … and to learn from her…
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.
And then, wonder of wonders, there was the beautiful, talented, and amazing Xanthe Berkeley freshly arrived from across the ocean walking up to me. Another hug, and sincere words of welcome. It was a lot to take in and quite honestly it was a bit of a blur after that.
I remember being introduced at one point to two more people that made this retreat possible; the beautiful Myriam Joseph whose very presence is mesmerizing and her way with poetry, spellbinding. The oh-so-young, and beautiful Alisha Herrick was a new face to me, but before the retreat was over, she had touched me deeply and I’ll never forget how she made me feel.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
The days were packed full as people shared their unique skills, talents and points of view. The energy in that house was insane. I don’t think I got more than 3 or 4 uninterrupted hours of sleep each night because my mind wouldn’t stop, and yet, rather than being tired and drained as I so often am, I felt energized and full. I allowed myself to do, be, and feel without fear. I didn’t want to miss a thing, so I soaked it all up and stored it inside, knowing that I could sleep and decompress when I got home.
So that’s why this morning I found myself crying in the shower. I had to let the wave of emotions flow through and out of me in order to start to process them. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it all, but I have this feeling that I’ve somehow been changed. I feel like I was seen, and heard and validated, and let me tell you that is powerful.
So thank you Kim, Xanthe, Myriam, Alisha, Laura, Lynne, Suzee, Danielle, Carolyn, Bev, Marilyn, Kristina, and Pam. It was so thrilling to meet you all, and such an honour to share those three sacred days with you. It was an experience of a lifetime.
If you get, give. If you learn, teach.
Images edited with the presets kk_within, and kk_dark day from the Start to Finish class at kimklassen.com