Monday, June 18, 2012

Las Dos Brujas Workshop 2012

I've been trying to write a bog post for a week, trying to describe what happened at Las Dos Brujas Workshops. I can't. It would be like trying to describe falling in love, or a hallucination.

A few thoughts:

Ghost Ranch: stunningly beautiful, majestic, almost painful to be away from. The color of the earth changed every hour with the light, sun or moon. The air had a quality of listening and of taking breath away.

The writers. Holy Shit. Denise Chavez, Kimiko Hahn, Juan Felipe Herrera, Chris Abani, and the queen who brought it all together, Cristina Garcia. The readings each night made my scalp tingle, I was inspired and humbled. The craft talks made me dizzy. Everyone was approachable, everyone was a love. I've never attended a workshop where the instructors were available to everyone. We all sat together and lunch and drank wine (and bootleg beer, another story soon to be brought to you by Lizz) at the evening receptions.

My workshop with Chris Abani. We're not allowed to talk about it, like Fight Club. Know this: I am changed. The workshop changed me but also the conversations outside the workshop.

Friends: there were a ton of people I knew there, including my "workshop husband" V. I love him. We crack each other up and also take each other very seriously. He and I bicker like an old married couple but the love and affection between us is real, important. He was my base, I always came back to him to process. Grateful for his friendship.

My new friends changed everything. I met two people who flipped my world upside down and sliced it open. Nadia, Nadia, Nadia. Beautiful, complex, hilarious Nadia. My late onset Siamese twin, my lost sister. I rarely every connect with another woman like that. Our conversations went deep, personal, we let each other see parts ourselves we keep hidden from most. We are alike, crazy alike, even our dark sides resonate. And we loved each other. Sisters, truly. We supported each other through some changes and still are. I can't wait to see her again. We're happy for each other, in a way that changes everything.

The first morning at Ghost Ranch I jumped out of bed at 5am and felt compelled to go for a sunrise walk. On the road I met Hari, who came to LDB with Nadia, good friends. We shared a phenomenal sunrise walk and met the rest of the week each morning to do the same. We sang the same songs, played in mud, braided our hair, were swallowed up by absurdity. He brought me a bottle of wine the night my life changed; I was panicking, pacing back and forth on a dirt road at midnight while crying to the moon. He listened. I'm glad it was him.

Also, love to David for the midnight full moon poetry reading. It was kind of ridiculous. And for being watcher, keeper, observer and muse. That poem was, is in my blood

Everyone who was there felt something shift within themselves. I don't know if it was the land, or the people, or the moon, or the ghosts, but we all changed. I don't feel like the same person anymore. Love does that, changes the landscape; but this was more. I had to face a few things about myself that I had been neglecting. I had to face some very real fears. I'm still working through them. But I made the decision, I can't go back.

The conversations I had there with my loves are some of the most sacred conversations I have every had. I wasn't ready for those talks before, I wasn't ready for the truth. But being split open and being okay with the discomfort is new, welcome. I realize now how I was giving myself before to smallness; small hearted love, small minded company, small views on an endless world. I'm not that small, I can't squeeze myself down, I break. No more. That isn't me. I am grateful beyond words for the change, in awe.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I've been trying to think about my experience at Las Dos Brujas, but I'm still working it out, letting it absorb, surrendering. I will write about it, maybe later today, maybe next week. I'll say this: I've never been happier or more at peace with myself and my writing. As I tweeted earlier this week: I'm so fucking happy you don't even know who I am anymore.