The learning curve keeps winding forward . . .

Over this past week I was a co-leader of a 3 day workshop in Naples.  The program included a phenomenal group of women and my co-facilitator was a phenomenal teacher.  I even got many “take-aways,” a gift I hadn’t expected, actually.  Since both Jill (Kelly) and I teach writing groups, I had made an assumption that “my way” was a very good way, maybe the best way.  However, doing a  few of her exercises intertwined with a few of mine made the program richer in every way, for us and for the participants.

The main point of this is that I got another dose of reality, the positive side of reality.  There is still more to learn which means life is far from over.  No resting on my laurels,  just yet.  I teach a writing workshop in Augusta, MO every September, and have for a dozen years.  (See the event section of this website if interested.)  I know, now, that I will incorporate some of the exercises that Jill had all of us do this week.  They expanded the women’s capacity to see themselves.  They encouraged a deeper commitment to the creative process.  And they helped us all realize that we could do those very things we came to the workshop unsure of.  That’s always the sign of a good workshop, in my view.

The average age in the workshop was probably 55.  Certainly there were a handful of women in their 40’s. However, there were some in their mid to late 70’s.  Even a couple in their 80’s.  And the exciting thing is that people everywhere are discovering that age doesn’t have to restrict us.  Women and men are traveling longer, taking classes, teaching classes, exploring the benefits of the internet and so much more.  How exciting I find it to go into the Apple Store and see it filled with the aging population, people who are not about to simply sit down and say life is done.

I look at these “oldsters” as the role models that my elders didn’t have.  Even though my mother was still interested in sports and shopping well into her 80’s, she’d not have been talked into taking a writing class.  It would have seemed beyond her capacity for expression.  She had not gone to college and she too often doubted her intellect.  I think that was the result of marriage to a man who had never really appreciated her capabilities and that was because he didn’t really appreciate his own.  We can’t give to others what we fail to see in ourselves.

I feel lucky that I am still growing and learning and sharing with others that which I know and admitting all that I don’t know too.  Without the honesty of revealing both, I cannot give to the world all that I have been born to share.  The same is true for you.

Praise be to God.


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