I'm a little behind on my posts, but here's another gift!!!! Actually, part of it I made myself.
Recently, I went on a women's retreat at Menucha, a retreat center in the Columbia River Gorge with friends from First Unitarian Church. It was a stunning spot, with amazing women, and incredible positive energy. Kate Lore, Social Justice Leader, led the retreat. I was a fan of Kate's before the retreat....now I am just "in awe." While there, I learned that I had kind of lost touch with my "radical" side. I used to be an ardent pacifist and a Saul Olinski-type community organizer. Racial equality and the Equal Rights Amendment for women were big deals, too, and I wouldn't shut up and go away. Over the years, I kind of lost that radicalism. At the retreat, I reconnected with with my inner radical, and with Nicole, who is much younger than I, but a real inspiration. She reminds me of who I was and will be again! She wrote that I gave her "courage." She "heard me" when I talked about moving to Canada when the Vietnam war was expanded to Cambodia. She is working on a book about soldiers who are refusing the repeated re-enlistment requests. She gives ME courage, and she will get this card.
Nicole led an exercise in which we all made origami boxes. They are beautiful and it was fun to do...and then they became very meaningful when each of us wrote wishes for each other on slips of paper that fit inside the box. I have a note from each woman in the group offering me encouragement and support. In the painting above, I stacked them beside the box. I can pull them out whenever I feel the need and re-read them for inspiration and a "kick in the butt!" It's not so much the origami box, but the wishes inside that are important. They help me remember what I learned about myself and what I hope for.... By the way, I also wrote a note to myself: "Love yourself. You are a true beauty and very radical!"