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Writing in the wild………..

At the weekend Mary Reynolds Thompson and I facilitated our Wild Places Lost & Found writing workshops.

On Saturday the participants came up the winding road to the top of Flagstaff, to the views of the Continental Divide, to sit and write in forest and mountain.

On Sunday, people found places under trees, in sunshine, on grass.

They were seeking the wild places outside and inside themselves and came together to write and to share.

Saturday began with a visit from 3 coyotes. As we drove to Lakewood on Sunday for the second workshop a coyote crossed the road in front of us.

In Native American lore, a coyote is a trickster, a creature of duality and paradox, a creative figure, a creator of culture and a breaker of taboos.

Their appearance seemed to invite us into the wild.

Writing took people into their wild imagination.

We looked at archetypal landscapes: Mountain, Forest, Water, Grassland, Desert. Mary brought us images from her Reclaiming the Wild Soul work to look at, to choose from, to enter, to write about.

Journal Prompt

Which landscape are you most drawn to? What does it mean to you? What are the feelings it evokes in you?

What is that landscape in you?

One participant said she had always found writing outside too distracting, she preferred to have a ceiling – but on this occasion her written words belied her spoken words.

Writing in the wild

How is writing outside in nature, in a garden, different from writing inside, in a coffee shop?

What do you experience when you write outside?

What are your favourite places to write?

This I will Remember

This I will remember,

Everyone’s sharing,

The courage it sometimes takes to read out loud.

This I will remember:

How a child touches your soul,

The distance and closeness of stories.

This I will remember:

Beautiful are the hearts of the people

Who shared this workshop,

And the profound beauty of this place.

By the participants at the Wild Places Lost & Found workshop, facilitated by Kate Thompson & Mary Reynolds Thompson. Boulder, Colorado, 21st April, 2012 

Note from Mary and Kate: Saturday and Sunday’s workshops brought together an amazing group of men and women thirsty to explore the wild places within and without. Their only complaint–we need more time. To that end, please look for an upcoming October 2012 “Wild Places” weekend workshop in California, details to come.
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  1. Hi Kate, I’ve just found your blog as I plan a workshop at a place called Lower Winskill farm, high in the limestone craggs above Settle. I will use writing to connect with the land for re-wilding the self. There is an ancient stone cairn there with an amazing view down the valley. Since I visited I have felt so pulled back there to sit and write. Just waiting for a bit of warmer weather so I can sit for a while. Thanks to you and Mary for this vital work. Are you planning to do anything in the UK? I know this great site………..


    • Kate Thompson

       /  May 12, 2012

      Now that does sound an inspiring place. I love the Dales, as you know. Mary & I are hoping to come to the UK next year and do Wild Places in one or two locations. I may be there this Autumn for some things – watch this space!
      I’m so glad you are building your work in this area – and where better than where you are.


  2. Kate Thompson

     /  April 27, 2012

    Me too, and we can feel part of a community even when living on a mountain.


  3. Jenny Alexander

     /  April 27, 2012

    Yes, that’s the exciting thing with writing and dreamwork, the opportunity to go ‘deeper than we know.’ I love that we can have these conversations across the globe in blogs and social networks


  4. Kate Thompson

     /  April 27, 2012

    Jenny, that’s great – landscapes literal and metaphorical are wonderful starting places for writing and they take us deeper than we know.


  5. Jenny Alexander

     /  April 27, 2012

    Interesting! I’ve blogged about landscapes of the soul in relation to our dreamlife http://jenalexanderbooks.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/landscapes-of-the-soul/



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