23 October 2005

Gather the Women

I just came back from a full day. An organization called Women Creating Peace held an event called A Gathering of Women, at the Holistic Renewal Center located in Beaumont, California, an hour's drive from me. I went there, on an invitation from my mentor Gayle Brandeis, who was presenting a writing workshop there. This was the first time in a long time that I was able to participate in a women-only activity.

It was wonderful being surrounded by women who at least respected, if not downright shared, my developing maternalistic spirituality, and to talk about our life stories. I dozed off during one of the workshops, being tired from an early morning drive out there, but otherwise I enjoyed every bit of the activities. My favorite part was a workshop where my preferred symbols (from a list of five - circle, triangle, square, spiral, cross) told me a lot about my life priorities, my past, and my dislikes.

In any case, I loved soaking in the entire women's spirituality atmosphere, so refreshing and different from the paternalistic world outside. And either I was passing perfectly, or the women were very polite to me, and I had a good time with everyone.

Gayle recognized me right away, as she pulled up behind my car in her Honda Civic Hybrid, even before I got out of my car, or recognized her sitting in hers. Again, this was my first opportunity to present myself to her as Rachel, and she was pleased. Finally it feels good to be known to my mentor, and presenting, in my proper identity. We exchanged a lot of stuff, basically catching up on our lives (and commenting on Gayle's daughter Hannah's vandalism stint over at Wikipedia!). I promised to send her my dinner scene with Sarah, along with my pictures from the Korean Folk Village 3 years ago (which are relevant to her novel, The Book of Dead Birds). I also spent time with her best friend Catherine, who, in fact, was the only person to choose the three exact same workshops as I did.

Now I need to jump on that dinner scene, and also to savor today, when my womanhood was never in question. I need to make sure that down the road, Sarah will have a similar moment.

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