I went with my grrlz to Pt. Reyes for a quickie retreat. We sang the Shabbat morning service on the way up, courtesy of Beth, who knows all the sacred music. Stopped at Cafe Gratitude in Marin, which is the most Californian of possible California experiences--all raw food, (but delicious!) and the atmosphere is permeated with irony-free positivism. To that effect, dishes are all named things like "I am worthy," and "I am blissful," "I am peaceful," etc. I looked in vain for "I was raised on the East Coast and am still attatched to the one cynical edge I have left," but no luck.
They do have a kick-ass chocolate shake, made with raw cacao, almond milk, kelp, vanilla, and agave nectar--amazing. Add fresh mint and go crazy.
The cabin that Ellen rents 10 days a month for a writing studio is in the middle of the woods and there were millions of butterflies. It must have been the one day of the year they all decided to hatch or mate, or whatever. Clouds of butterflies and moths. The air was alive with them.
Honesty compels me to confess that in the midst of this idyll I was cranky and headachey. I think I was having a touch of typhus from the oral vaccine I've been taking for the last couple of days. I felt feverish and had to nap. Also, I love Ellen dearly, but us living together is a Bad Idea, since she is totally neat and clean, meticulously detail-oriented, a bit finicky, an obsessive planner and a worrier and I am not.
I think it's easier for me when we Libra girls go to Harbin, where there are the hot tubs and the swimming pools and hiking trails, and the library--tons of places to go to get away from each other, and then come back refreshed. In this place it was just the three of us confined to one room. But Ellen and Beth don't like Harbin because the men are always hitting on us, and ogling, and the heterosexual energy is too strong. Whatever.
We went to a wonderful yoga class together in the morning--God, this is sounding so Californian--and ate the most fantastic, expensive, organic produce for lunch and dinner--especially a triple creme cheese made with sheep's milk that is produced locally and melts in the mouth like butter. Had lively arguments about SM and Paris Hilton (don't ask.)
All the while though, I was aching to reconnect with C--it had been a week, he had a hellacious, stress-filled final last few days of school and could only go to work and collapse afterwards. I was wringing my hands on the sidelines--it was like watching my father suffer through running a marathon when I was a kid. Finally, finally, he would stumble over the finish line, his face white with salt and exhaustion. C more or less finished up his school year like that.
At our retreat, Ellen and Beth and I all showed each other the main projects we are working on. Ellen has a wildly imaginative novel for young people that's half-finished; Beth is planning a concert of songs for her 40th birthday; I'm brewing the Questionnaire Project, plus the musical with C, plus some revisions of plays and a new play, plus poems and essays.
I showed them the chart I made last year to track my project-ideas, and how many of them had come to fruition--a surprising amount. I myself was amazed at the harvest. I made a new chart, with a sun in the middle, with God Is All There Is, and rays going out holding all the new and old ideas. I did it in black pen on white paper, so it's very plain; as I complete each project, I'll color it in, so by next year it will be rainbow.
God, this is a terribly Californian entry. I can't help it, it's the midsummer madness of the long long days, the butterflies drunk with sunlight and scent, and finally, Sunday evening, the tender reunion with C--a bath, lovemaking, a dinner out with red meat and red wine, a perfect balance to all the spiritually correct wheatgrass lesbian food.