Saturday, November 7, 2015

My Favorite Writer at My Favorite Monastery

If your favorite writer was going to be at your favorite monastery for a 4 day retreat with workshops, what would you do?  Let's assume that you could be gone from work--how much would you pay to be part of this retreat?

I asked my friends this very question, and they would be willing to pay $1500 or more.  Suddenly the $350 fee looked good--it includes food and lodging after all, and one friend pointed out that 3 nights in a hotel could easily cost $350 or more.

But I've never paid this much for a retreat or a writer's workshop, so my view is skewed--and yes, I realize how lucky I am.  My grad school studies cost $159 a semester because I had assistantships.  So that means my whole degree cost less than $1600 in tuition.  Actually that's the cost for 2 degrees, my MA and my PhD at a state university.

I've passed on many an opportunity because it cost too much.  But maybe I've been depriving myself.  Maybe I should spend some money along the way, especially since I've earned some money through my writing.

The retreat at Mepkin Abbey with Kathleen Norris takes place March 28, a week where I'd have been headed north for the Create in Me retreat at Lutheridge on that Thursday--when the Mepkin Abbey retreat ends!  Usually dates do not align that neatly for me.  Usually, when I see 2 or 3 events I'd like to attend, it would mean a month of travelling up and down the same highway.

I saw it as a sign, along with the fact that it would be the week between Winter quarter and Spring quarter, and not the first week of a quarter, which is a tough time to get away.  I also thought of some of the big trips I've taken in the past, and I'm so glad I did now, because it would be so much harder these days, or impossible, to coordinate schedules.

And so, I registered last week.  I am so thrilled.  I will be able to work with one of my writing heroes.  I will be able to spend time at Mepkin Abbey.  I will end that time by going to my other favorite retreat place, Lutheridge.

It will be hard to return to regular life after that week.  But I'll worry about that issue later.

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