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Monday, February 09, 2015

Retreat 2015

Retreat. Re-Treat.

Treats to relish, over and over again: beginning in the days and weeks leading up to retreat day, as I review and rediscover all the goodies in my sewing room and begin to choose what to pack up to share. To reuse.

Retreat has given me justification for purchasing gorgeous old thrifted sewing machines. What an honor! To think of the woman (I'll go ahead and make that assumption) who held this before me, and to wonder at what she created with it. So lovingly cared for Pfaffy, as she is now affectionately known, is a gem, complete with accessory box, original manual, and brilliantly designed carrying case.

And with just a few whiny panic texts to my brother in law (Master of All Things Sewing Machine), I got her all oiled up and massaged away all her tension.

I carefully took old Singer Featherweight from her box and ran my fingers across her beautiful lines, reaquainting ourselves on her intricacies. Whenever she and I spend time together, I can't help but be flooded with gratitude and astonishment, as this piece was a gift. Straight up. Someone trusted me with their grandmother's treasure, and treasure her I do.

My trusty berninas, Singer, Royal Red and Pfaffy all passed inspection.

And I'm fairly certain they received a special blessing from Floey the Praying Cat. A sort of "God speed! Travelling mercies! I'll be here awaiting your return and tales of reuse and retreat!"

Our day at Bonnie's begins with hot strong fairtrade coffee and cinnamon buns so ridiculous that I coughed and lied and ponied up for seconds. Then we meet in the cabin for poetry, contemplative thinking, quiet meditation. Something always gets said that makes me think- "I thought I was the only bear to have thunk such thinky thoughts." Which just gets me thinking the more.

Then its time for workshops, and I can share my loves.

And while we are creating and recreating, smells begin to climb the circular staircase and lure us away from Pfaffy, and Ruby Red, fibers, weaves, lacy bits and crochet flowers.

And that's how we travel through our day, meeting and dispersing, talking and stitching, laughing, crying, talking, reflecting.

Why do I love retreat?

It's a place where raw edges come together. A place for women to meet, tell their truths, listen to one another. A place to challenge the mind and the fingers with new perspectives and new skills. It's a safe place for the homeschool mom, the grandmother, the daughters, the educators, the students, the hippies and the professionals. We hear each other and nod at our commonalities, our mutual desires to live well, to care for the earth and its occupants, to take the edges of someone's pain and match it up against our own raw edge and find something lovely there.

A sort of redemption. As we reuse, rethink, reflect and




Laura said...

So true. That's how it is.

Judy said...

I like your thinky thoughts.

Brenda Funk said...

Sounds amazing...

Anonymous said...

I own that Pfaff mother's machine......she retreated to it many mnay hours I am sure. Retreat with your women folk sounds so right. Rosella

Bonnie said...

Hey Joyce
loved reading and looking at your weave through that day.the affection for the sewing machine! love it. this morning, as I picked up the little remanants of that day -- 6 pins (ouch!), sticky cinnamon encrusted napkin (yours?), cut off material (in every room of the house), slippers (orange and fuzzy), journals (why leave these behind!), yoga block -- I am tempted to come over and start planning for next year. So yes, keep hunting and gathering your sewing machines, your suitcases full of fabric treasures, your heartfilled, wierd and wonderful energy. The upstairs is yours.