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Ourselves, Growing Older 2017 Retreat

May 11, 2017 - May 13, 2017

$345 - $485

This creative retreat offers time alone and together to reflect, write, create, listen, and be fully present to the realities of growing older.

A welcome from retreat facilitator Mary Holscher:

Chinook has been a lovely part of my life for four decades, and I welcome the opportunity to share the Chinook land with you.

We begin Thursday at 1 PM (after lunch) and end Saturday at 2:30 PM (after lunch).

We will have a simple, spacious structure to explore privately and together our thoughts and feelings, our fears and hopes about growing older. We’ll use experimental forms of dialogue, creative writing, art, and being with ourselves and with nature in silence as means to deepen our reflections. We will share delicious, organic meals together prepared by Chinook’s wonderful chef, Christyn Johnson.

Thursday afternoon, we settle in and meet for our first dialogue session (rooted in deep listening to words arising from silence and open, honest questions), followed by a brief time to write (and read aloud, if desired). We will then have a time of silence before dinner to walk the land or rest, read, write, draw. After dinner, we’ll have a second dialogue session, followed by a brief time to write (and read aloud, if desired).

Breakfast Friday morning will be followed by silence (with an optional yoga session led by Paul Finley at 10 AM). The silence will continue until lunchtime, with time to write, walk, draw, rest, muse. Lunch will be joyfully social. At 3, we will gather for our final dialogue session, followed by a brief time to write (and read aloud, if desired).

Following dinner Friday, each participant will choose one of three options for a creative session (beginners welcome): Poetry (led by Dianne and Mike Langtry), Song-Writing (led by Paul Finley) and Continuous Line: Continuous Life (water-based and/or mixed media painting, led by Pamm Hanson).

Saturday will be our second round of creative sessions (participants will remain with the same small group both days). We’ll have a closing session in the Great Hall at 11:15, with an opportunity to share our poems, songs, and art before lunch. After lunch, we will gather for final reflections. Leave-taking will be by 2:30.

The cost for the retreat is $485. This includes two nights lodging and meals from Thursday dinner through Saturday lunch, as well as snacks ($345 for up to four participants staying off-site, which includes all meals).  We have room for 18 participants staying on-site, in addition to Paul and me. Partial scholarships are available for people of color.

Secure one of the spaces (first come, first served on room selection and choice of creative session) with a non-refundable $200 deposit mailed to:

Mary Holscher
6715 Phinney Avenue N.
Seattle, WA 98103

Additional information about food, lodging, a Whidbey Institute Welcome Packet, and final fee payment will be provided upon receipt of registration.

Email or call (206) 524-0704 with questions.

I look forward to sharing this special time and place to write, create, talk, and be together with you!

Warmly, Mary

“I still carry the warm and scary feelings we explored at Chinook and enjoy going back and remembering what was said and the voices and then the getting back to the container we created around the circle. Around that was the old buildings and the old forest listening in, leaning in, seemingly to hear what this group of humans was up to.”

—Mike Langtry, participant in 2015 and 2016 Ourselves, Growing Older retreats


May 11, 2017
May 13, 2017
$345 - $485


Mary Holscher