All the words until now have been longhand, computer left behind in my cabin with the cell phone, and no photos to write from. The eight of us retreat participants plus Ryan met the first day, at a table in the middle of a recital hall, all wood paneling and one whole wall of windows, a piano on a dais in front of the windows, and I kept thinking things like "naps!" and "manicure!", thoughts of leisure and vacation. But after we left the recital hall, I sat down with my notebook anyway, and just started to use ink. I made a manicure appointment and then cancelled it, and was sorry when I slept in until 9:40 the first day. No naps yet.
My writing so far has been constant but scattered, concerned more with the problem of writing than with any story in particular. This second full day has been tainted with migraine, and at lunch I felt that odd migraine-related grief draining the words out of me. I sat and looked out the window at the shaded picnic tables, the practice rooms converted to writing studios for us for these five days, the small birds in the trees. When at a loss, I do come back to the birds, the house finch with it's rosy crown, the white-headed woodpecker pecking out a lacy pattern in the bark of the evergreen it mines for bugs. It's the simplicity of it that I love, the pleasure in naming something, in noticing it. White head, black body, white arm band, the tree-clinging shape.