What happened was that I got to see the founding editor of The Sun in person, in the flesh (so to speak), to be in the same room as him and to simply smile good morning, leaving him perhaps to wonder if I knew who he was. Or maybe hopefully to leave him with the impression that I was too cool to be starstruck.
What happened was, I received the gifts of some truly helpful tools and insights for writing. I went to three different session leaders, all of whom were completely different, and all of which felt right.
What happened was that I wrote. I shared some of it. Two different pieces, two different sessions. I felt removed from the other participants both times. I shared about being pregnant and about having an affair. Unrelated stories, by the way. What happened was I felt shame. I felt judged. I know enough to know that such feelings resided in me alone, or at least mostly, and were not necessarily felt by anyone else in the room.
What happened was it rained. Just lightly the first day. Not enough to stop us from a short hike around the grounds. Umbrellas were needed only to save us from being damp and cold and shivering in the next session. It rained harder, and harder still, the last morning, enough to pool several inches deep across the stone path and to seep through my tennis shoes to my socks. Enough to be legitimately nervous about driving down the mountain home. Legitimate as opposed to being wimpy scared.
What happened was that two days were not enough. We had only just begun to unwind, to decompress, to soften and slow. And it was already time to start summarizing our time together.
What happened was, the air was thin and I huffed and puffed while on a short hike, and while walking from the truck, and every time walking up the stairs to our room.
With any luck, what happened was that I was leaving some of the weight of shame behind.