LL and Lauren (But not Jim) at Laity Lodge
Last week I went to Texas. For the very first time in my life. It was... beautiful. I went to Laity Lodge for a retreat. To hear Lauren Winner and Tod Bolsinger. Wow. (Photo of Lauren and I below. Do you dig that tattoo she got when she was only 15 years old?)
When I stepped out of the shuttle, onto the Laity grounds, the first thing I noticed was the weight of the sun. It seemed it might press me into the copper colored gravel. The second thing I noticed was the silence. It too had a weight. Like a silken blanket on my skin and over my senses. I was utterly taken.
The week before I went to Laity, I discovered that Jim Martin was going to be there too. From Monday to Wednesday. I was coming Thursday to Sunday. Sigh. But we decided to both write a piece on some stone stairs I thought I'd seen in a picture of Laity. We would post our respective pieces. (Rumor has it that Marcus Goodyear might also post such a piece.) I don't know if I found the right stairs. But here they are...
And here is the little piece I composed...
Morning, the last day. A stillness here. I witness canyon walls... striated grey, cream, mountain-Laurel flecked. Everywhere, things clinging to edges... yucca, purple-budded prickly pear, cedars in miniature. Water flows, ripples, catches new light. I close my eyes, hear the ascending and descending of a bird's 'too, too, too, too, too, too.' The air is barely tinged with chalky earthen fragrance. I witness all this through senses open, full, longing. Or does it witness me... morning, the last day, clinging to this edge?
Tod Bolsinger's Basking and Connecting at Laity Lodge
Marcus Goodyear's Rush Out to Nature, Rush Back to Work
Jim Martin's Days at the Quiet House
A prayer inspired by the canyon, the birds... Hand, at LL's Love Notes to Yahweh
LL ELSEWHERE THIS WEEK:
Why I Became a Vegetarian, at TCW Magazine
Ted's book club post Forest Star: Humility
Laity Lodge photos by L.L. Barkat.