facebook twitter

“Whether we consciously acknowledge that we are part of this natural world that we live in or not, we are part of the natural world. We can not live, any of us, without acknowledging that.”

–Rina Swentzell

Field Report August 3rd, 2009

From the reaches of Saudi Arabia, New Hampshire, Montana, New Mexico and Colorado, 13 writers and artists, including myself, convened in Crestone, Colo., for a writing retreat. Tucked between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Great Sand Dunes Na

tional Park, in the heart of the magnificent San Luis Valley, we spent the weekend at Colorado College’s Baca Campus in deep discussion about Trouble and Opportunity.

Several motifs emerged throughout our discussion; the importance of humor in one’s life and writing (especially when addressing a gloomy or overwhelming subject), and the strain of maintaining one’s writing while balancing family, job, and the many other pulls of modern day existence. However, the most resonant theme to me was the importance of appreciating and living sustainably within one’s landscape, beginning with the personal ecosystem of one’s body, extending to one’s home, then neighboring ecosystems, and indefinitely outward. Apt, considering the related metaphor of living, and thinking like a watershed, which I have been meditating on for the last few months as I work on our current project by the same name.

Each participant expressed their sense of self as contextualized by their home ecosystem. Whether in carefully sketched drawings or detailed descriptions of the flora, fauna and landscape, each of us had our own way of declaring our love and admiration for the places in which we live.

It was heartening to realize that there are still those of us who pay attention to Nature, and think of ourselves as a mere viagra online pharmacy

part of it, as opposed to the dominant species who rules the world and the creatures therein. It sustained my unwavering belief that humans have the responsibility to use our senses, our intellects, and any other means we have, to identify trouble and take the opportunity to fix the broken, to heal the wounds, that we—in major part—inflicted upon this earth.

No, we didn’t solve the world’s problems in one weekend. But we did discover some ways to help, and get invigorated in our pursuits. The retreat served as a critical reminder that through the darkest hours one of the greatest opportunities that lives in the wake of trouble is hope.

Leave a Reply