mini csw

We Came, We Saw, We Mini-ed

A mini version of the main retreat was something we had always toyed with doing, and finally this year we made it happen. We wanted to do something that was (A) in the Sydney area, (B) only one day long and (C ) a lower price point than that main retreat. We still wanted the elements that we think make the main retreat so special - a small group of women, a yoga workshop and some sort of creative workshop. The space had to be homey and welcoming. The food had to be delicious.

And thankfully, that all came to be. We’re very grateful to the women who came to our event, and to the teachers and chef that we had work with us, for this special day.

Thanks!

Participants - seven women, each with unique creative gifts, stories and reasons for being there. You’re all gorgeous. You made this day what it was.

Susan MacDonald - delicious food and snacks, including a raw cacao hummous that we were all astounded at and a foraged raspberry leaf tea that tasted so fresh.

Alison Uhma - Creative Workshop about Graphic Memoir making that had us all giggling at our doodles and thinking deep about our pasts.

Molly Fletcher - for grounding us and relaxing us with your meditation and yoga.

Big thank you to Krista Montelpare for providing wonderful vintage dishware for our food, vintage vases and fresh flowers!

Carman United Church Hall - for the space full of history and warmth.

Lotherington’s Flowers & Gifts - for the Calandiva plants that were the welcome gift.

Here are the photos that Emily took that showcase our first ever Mini CSW:

You Are Creative

For anyone thinking that Creative Soul Weekend isn't for you because you aren't artistic - consider this your friendly reminder that being creative does not mean you need to be artistic!

Creativity is defined as "the ability or power to create". You can create something, we know it! You can create a meal. You can create change. You can create memories with your friends and family. And we have faith that you can create a stick person drawing if you really are stuck on this artistic thing ;)

So please remember you are so welcomed at Creative Soul Weekend, just as you are.

Want to join us for our first ever Mini Creative Soul Weekend? Click here to get all the details and to register!

 
csw-stick-person

Begin, Again

Begin, Again
Leah Noble

It is getting late in the day when I dry my hands from the sink and turn to the bookshelf. “Ahhh,” I think - “I will find a poem that has to do with renewal, rebirth, fresh energy. This, this will do my job for me. I’ll post that and won’t have to think or create much at all.”

The baby is in his crib, asleep. He is one year, 2 months, and one day old. His body is solid and wiry, and he crawls everywhere these days, so proud of himself. Tongue between lips in concentration. Bright eyes taking us all in.

The air today was warm. My skin drank it in, all five degrees of it, so pleasant and such a shift from the bitter crackling cold of the last several weeks, the squeaky snow. That snow has now turned to rivulets running down black pavement. Filling ditches, overflowing.

I go to the bookshelf. I pick out some books of poetry I bought years ago, back when I wrote poems too. Back when I was excited by that medium, thought I might do it enough to call myself a poet.

Somehow, someway, years turned and years turned, and I don’t write poems anymore. Instead I: change diapers. Do dishes. Go to a job and do the things required of me there. Text friends. Gather boxes of things I don’t use anymore and bring them to the thrift store. Prepare food for meals, for eating. These meaty little details of life.

I pull a few books off the shelf, slim volumes but beautiful in the paper stock chosen, the typefaces, the scanty yet weighty scatterings of words across pages. Poems. Those strange little creatures. I scan through, looking quickly for springtime themes. But the poems do not reveal themselves so easily. I cannot “CONTROL + F” them. Instead, they lure me in.

The words, the images, the paper stock. I read and I don’t fully understand and yet a part of me does understand. Remember? That part of me says. Remember, you loved these? Remember, you love to string words together, too?

And I get excited and pull out the laptop and open a blank document. I sit here at the keyboard and I type and I ponder this theme that I picked back in January. Renewal, rebirth, fresh energy. We are tired, at the end of winter, so tired of the shovels, tired of the salt caking our vehicles, tired of dry skin and bitter wind. My whole body hungers for spring, for wet dirt, for those little stubs of daffodils poking up, relentless. For the scents that awaken, the earth lush again.

But it isn’t just the earth that is reborn, in spring. We too are reborn, and our seasons are not as predictable. It is never too late to revisit a dream. It is never too late to begin, again. So what if I am about to turn 35, and I haven’t written a poem since I was 25. Who says those ten years were wasted? Who says I am not allowed to try more, try again?

I hear Aidan whimpering in his room down the hall - a few cries, and I think perhaps I’ll have to go and rock him back to sleep. But he quiets himself. So perhaps I’ll read another poem, before finishing the dishes.

In seven days we are hosting a sweet little springtime celebratory retreat. It’s called the Mini Creative Soul Weekend, and it will be in Sydney Mines, NS. Read more about the details here. We hope you join us!