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Ourselves, Growing Older with Mary Holscher

May 10 - May 12


OURSELVES, GROWING OLDER: a writing retreat, alone and together

You are warmly invited to a retreat, May 10-12, 2018, at the Whidbey Institute on South Whidbey Island. The intention of the retreat is to offer a time to reflect, write, listen, and be fully present to the realities of growing older. We begin Thursday at 1 pm (after lunch) and end Saturday at 2:30 pm (after lunch). Our maximum size is fifteen.

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 creative writing, conversation, beloved poems, and being in silence with ourselves and with nature as means to deepen our reflections. We will share delicious, organic meals together prepared by the wonderful Chef Christyn Johnson.

Thursday afternoon, we settle in and meet as a full group in the Farmhouse for our first writing session. We will write in response to open questions and prompts, rooting ourselves in the sensual details of our own experience, and be invited to share our writing with each other. We will then have a time before dinner to walk the land and do whatever else we please. After dinner, we’ll have two small group writing sessions, one led by me in the Farmhouse and one led by Dianne and Mike Langtry in the Sanctuary. This is a small retreat, no larger than fifteen people, so that our full group can meet in the Farmhouse living room. Each small group will be no larger than eight, including leader(s).

Friday will be a time of silence until 2:30 pm (breakfast and lunch will be in the dining room in silence). Paul will lead an optional yoga session in the Sanctuary at 10 am. This is our extended time to write, walk, draw, rest, muse. At 2:30, our full group will gather in the Farmhouse to check in. We will then move into our second small group writing sessions, which will include reading the writing completed during the time of silence. Participants will remain with the same small group both days. Following dinner Friday, we will meet in the Farmhouse to read beloved poems aloud (Dianne will do a short reprise of “how to read a poem” to warm us up) and share music and conversation.

Saturday morning, our full group will meet in the Farmhouse to write together to open questions and prompts. After lunch, we will gather for final reflections. Leave-taking will be by 2:30.

The cost for the retreat is $575. This includes two nights lodging and meals from Thursday dinner through Saturday lunch, as well as snacks. This retreat is by invitation only and has space for 10-11 participants, in addition to me, Paul, Dianne and Mike. Partial scholarships are available for people of color.

Secure one of the spaces (first come, first served for choice of small writing group and room selection in the Farmhouse or cabins) 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 maryholscher@mac.com or call (206) 524-0704 with questions.

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 three previous OURSELVES, GROWING OLDER RETREATS


May 10
May 12


Mary Holscher