If the desert is holy, it is because it is a forgotten place that allows us to remember the sacred. Perhaps that is why every pilgrimage to the desert is a pilgrimage to the self. There is no place to hide and so we are found.
–Terry Tempest Williams in Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert
I am in the desert this week, facilitating the 21st (I think) women’s writing retreat. We’ve just concluded the first night, and it is going to be a powerful week. I invite you to join us in writing from desert prompts, informed by Mary Reynolds Thompson’s work with earth archetypes as pathways to wholeness.
Free-write or cluster on the desert. What does it represent to you?
For what do you thirst?
“There is no place to hide.” From what or whom do you hide? How do you hide?
As I was setting up our meeting room, I pulled a draped table away from the wall and caught movement in my peripheral vision. A small lizard had scurried from its lair. I opened both doors and started speaking to it, inviting it to return to its natural habitat. Then I sat down to observe it. It was perfectly still for two or three minutes at a time, then darted a few feet, changing direction each time. At some point I busied myself with a task. Two minutes later when I glanced over, the lizard was nowhere to be found. I looked up lizard medicine and found this: “”Lizard has an innate ability to recognize danger and can remove itself from harm when the situation calls for it.” How are you like, or not like, Lizard in this respect?
In the desert, alone, there is silence. What is your relationship to silence?
Some cacti don’t bloom until they are 30 years old. What is the cactus flower within you, hidden but preparing to blossom?