Far Lookout Writing Retreat, Oak Grove

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For one week, I kept my own company off the grid—no emails or net-surfing, just the blank page, scads of delicious vegetables, and the companionship of green outside the window.  I did wander under the canopy of oaks during my morning walks which strengthened me in the old way, as if I were still walking in the woods of my childhood.  One evening, I sat on the terrace with my hosts, Michael Hoeye and Martha Banyas, listened to their stories of the land and of their art and read to them a little from my work in progress.  The clarity of intention was visible in every nook of the gardens as well as in the beautifully maintained house, studio, and cottage.

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As you can see from the photos, I lacked for nothing.  The inside of the cottage was pristine and cleanly appointed in the vocabulary of IKEA, a language and aesthetic that I find very soothing.  I could readily sit down to write without distraction.  The kitchen was fully equipped for the foodie that I am, though I restricted my cooking to roasted vegetables and the homemade soups I had retrieved from my freezer.

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My daily work began with short pieces for the August Poetry Postcard Fest as a warm-up (more on this in a couple weeks!).  Then I began writing a story using memories of my Grandmother Lalia as a springboard.  I can only marvel at the confounding nature of memory and the level of detail with which I was able to recall/recreate a passage of my life forty years past.  This story is still leading me—I will be sure to report on its conclusion.

I have returned home deeply rested, with my reserves replenished,enough to greet theFar Lookout Retreat 029
last weeks of summer with enthusiasm, though I may hover indoors away from the heat.  Have you ever seen such a long hot spell in a Corvallis summer?  Remarkable.  The roses are still loving it!

4 thoughts on “Far Lookout Writing Retreat, Oak Grove

  1. Thanks, Lisa. It was really fun. Too many apples to peel by myself, but with a friend, quick work and very satisfying. Now if I can just get the pics and captions to lay quietly and in order on the page…And how is Dysfunction Junction?

  2. Thanks, Lisa. It was a bit of a dream. And I discovered I have a tremendous capacity for being alone. The creative life demands some space, don’t you think?

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