WriNo Camp 2015

“Sometimes me think ‘what is friend?’ and then me say ‘Friend is someone to share last cookie with.'” Cookie Monster

For the second year in a row a few us WriNoShores headed to Maine to spend a long weekend with Sara Leahy at her tiny cabin in the woods.

Rather than give a detailed account of the events, which basically consisted of laughing, writing, imbibing, eating, singing, dancing, and laughing a whole lot more, another aspect of our gathering emerged. An activity that struck me as greatly important–conversation.

We spent much of our time talking, and questioning one another on all manner of life’s little complexities. So much so, it stood out to me as being something rather extraordinary that I needed to reflect on.

I’ve know these women for a few years now, several for five or more and Sara and I are as close as women get to being sisters without sharing DNA. Over this time we’ve built a circle of trust through the shared terror of reading our work aloud. But this weekend there seemed to be a yearning for connection and significant dialogue that was deeper and more palpable and unrelated to writing.

Though we have exposure and access to one another through social media, email, Skype, texting, etc, there is seemed to be a wholehearted desire for one-on-one conversation. To be present and able to react and respond in the moment. Too see the tears, the grimaces, and the hand gestures that accompany retold tales.

Perhaps, the connection through electronics isn’t as sincere as face-to-face, where editing ourselves has become a reflex. We need to sputter and spit and sigh and groan our way through a story to get real in the moment feedback and challenges to our thoughts.

There’s nothing like making each other laugh. I loved the ease with which we spoke, the faith in one another obvious. I held back nothing. I’m sure others were just as candid. Am I the only one who sensed this momentous shift? The deepening of bonds?

I stopped myself several times during the weekend to write about it. Because that’s what we do, write. We examine life through language, through words on paper. We interpret, filter and assimilate into new narratives everything our senses consume. It’s a solo endeavor even when we are together.

That might be why these gatherings–where we are able to spend time talking without our usual distractions–have become so necessary and coveted. We are uniquely ourselves here. Not mother, daughter, wife, employee, just us– friends me share last cookie with.

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