Writing retreats, I’ve done. Alone. Together.
A day, two, three.
But never an official reading retreat.
One could argue I’ve been doing reading retreats ever since I learned how to read, because, to quote my mom, once I did I never stopped. Countless weekends I’ve spent immersed in great novels; laying away many a night, reading, totally engrossed in a story, making me experience life as a Viking slave, an Egyptian princess, a Vietnamese poet, a cave-woman, or explore the vast skies astride a flying dragon in some magical universe, similar and yet so different to my own.
But thanks to a The Creative’s Workshop-colleague writing about wanting to take time to read, I suggested she do a reading retreat, and all of a sudden, we had a date, going from idea to fruition in the space of three days. 90 minutes, over Zoom, all in all, four people, even though two sort of played a relay-game with each other, with one leaving as another entered the room. The Zoom-room.
…to be, without the intent to talk I said when we checked in prior to one reader leaving for another meetup. I’ve done many a type of meeting online, but never, truly, one where the intention was not to talk, but to be, and to read.
And I loved it.
As we shared half-time my co-creator was reminded of a quote by Lynda Barry, who has said about art-making that it’s this thing that we do alone together.
And I loved it. Alone. Together.
It felt so good. You know, like sitting in a room with a best friend, in total silence, and absolute companionship, doing whatever one pleases, but together? That’s what it felt like.
One I want more of.
Would you like to join me sometime?