Day 38 solo writing retreat.
Biriya, week 6
I am entering my last week here and I do not want to leave. I am in a rhythm now, have a daily flow. It feels like it took three weeks just to settle in, reset the system.
The first night I arrived I raided the kitchen and binge ate everything. The banana cake in the fridge. The vegan chocolate ice cream. The peanut butter and granola and cookies and spoonfuls of beet red charoset with rice cakes. I continued the next morning and binge watched Too Hot to Handle also, a bodymind binge, excessive and dissociating and a bit disgusting. I had arrived in this place, this quiet home in a forest next to Tzvat, wanting a place to cleanse and reset and work and go in deep.
I had come from Tel Aviv, which was full of everything — people and parties and this excitement and that — and I felt full, bloated from all the possibilities and everything happening everywhere.
I needed time to quiet, time to make space and to pull out the stories and transformations that have been incubating these last two years.
I’m hesitating now, starting to stiffen and self-edit. It’s the perfectionist tensing, I’ve been getting to know her well, this perfectionist. I’ve been getting to know many of my selves here — the aspirational and the insecure, the artist and the intellectual, the writer and the editor, the woman and the child.
There are so many voices, so many selves, and they speak over each other, they speak to each other also, demanding attention, interrupting, each through its own language of expression. The perfectionist, she speaks through tension and contraction. The forehead the jaw the shoulders, they draw in, as if in preparation for a sprint, gathering in the energy before a great release. Except the energy stays gathered, stiffens and constricts in the body. Tightening in the forehead. Clenching of the jaw.
The first week I was here, I was tense and heavy and bloated, all the time I think. The word ‘retreat’ sounds restful, except its when we are truly with ourselves that everything comes up. The fears and emotions and habits that have been muted now rise up, strong.
It was the first time I was staying alone in a house, a real home with a real kitchen that had snacks and a pantry and was fully stocked. In Tel Aviv I have a little kitchen with a little fridge, it’s a Tel Aviv apartment, it’s a small space and I don’t need much. In this home they are a family, a small family and its a family kitchen, with ketchup and balsamic vinegar and chocolate chips and pretzels.
(..and thats twenty five minutes!)