Tuesday, April 27
“We’ve been in a dream, now it’s time to go back to reality.”
This is a phrase I overheard this morning as we packed and swept and moved and washed and rearranged everything in preparation for the trip home. What was the dream?
Shades Retreat, Personal You.
3 days spent in the glory of nature at its best, surrounded by the beauty and energy that only a group of same gender loving women of color can engender.
“This is awesome.”
A phrase I heard (and used) repeatedly. Even when it rained all day Saturday, and there was thunder and lightning which caused even the most studly among us to jump a bit, and blink like a startled deer, we had workshops in the common hall, which over the course of the weekend was anything BUT common. We shared meals there, we shared words there, we sang, we laughed and we cried. We cheered the poetesses, we cheered the artists, we cheered the founder of it all Kat Williams, and we even cheered ourselves. It was a weekend of discovery for some, reunion for others; a weekend of meeting women you’d only known online and putting a face to the words you’d only seen on a computer monitor. It was joy personified. We had workshops on sexuality, on reiki, on personal growth, on why did I get out of bed. We discussed love altars, facial cleansing, wearing a red glove, using crystals to heal and cleanse the body, focusing our energies positively. We listened to spoken word art that thrilled us, energized us, saddened us, made us think, and excited us. We watched studs with swagger strut, and we watched femmes glide seductively, breasts stuck out and hips rolling. It was a beautiful time of communion with like-minded sistahs, sistahs who gathered together to learn about themselves and about each other.
To get down to it…..
Shades Retreat was organized by “Kat” Williams, also known as the hostess of SippinonInk. She and her partner Tami Brown did a beautiful job of it, pulling off an event that seemed like a vacation, a seminar on empowerment, a college course in self, and a midtown coffee shop all in one. There were approximately 40 beautiful same gender loving women of color in attendance; several had traveled 8 hours to be there! Folks traveled from as close as “down the road a piece” to as far as Knoxville, Tennessee and Gainesville, Florida to take part in this wonderful first time event. Most of them had found Shades Retreat either through FaceBook or through knowing someone who knew about it. The fact that she was able to gather so many people to attend as well as so many fabulous writers, photographers, artists and speakers to present their work is a testament to Kat’s hard work, her personality, her dedication, her conviction, and her vision.
We were out in “the woods”; FD Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain, GA. There was no cell phone service and no internet access, and the bathroom/shower was a communal building a “fur piece” away from some of the cabins. And cabins they were; wooden floored, with 12 rickety steel spring beds in each. Most of us brought air mattresses or sleeping bags; who knew what bugs may have made a bed in the mattress, or what avian visitor might have left a deposit? They were clean though, and well lit, and even though there was no heat/ac, we didn’t need it. Pajamas and a soft comforter were all that was necessary.
The food was simple but good, even the lone vegan (me!) and the vegetarians that were there left the table feeling satiated. Kat and Tami had planned a great menu, and if there were any problems in the kitchen they did a great job of not letting us know it! It seemed like the trays of food just appeared at mealtime; there was always enough, and it was always good.
The workshops; oh my, what can I say about the workshops.So many different subjects, presented by so many different women…. So many varied and eclectic topics, yet they all seemed to flow together into a huge tapestry of talent and knowledge which proclaimed “This is what SGL sistahs can do; this is how smart we are!
This year we planted the seeds; I can’t wait until next year to see what has grown from those seeds. I know that next year’s Shades Retreat is going to be even more spectacular event, so if you think you’d like to come to the next one, please make sure to join Shades Retreat on FaceBook so that you’ll be kept informed each step of the way. You don’t want to miss out!!!
Wednesday, April 21
I'd never heard of Clark Howard before a friend recommended the site to me tonight. She said I should look into which sites he found were scams and which were not, and follow his advice to help me get a work-from-home position. Well, I've been perusing this site for several hours now, and I'm seeing more space devoted to what scams to avoid and questions/comments from people asking about different sites than I see what sites are NOT scams. It's a lot of material on this site to read to not find out what I want to know. Clark Howard might actually be the "Scam Guru" some people seem to think he is, but he is definitely not the one to go to for help in finding a legitimate work-at-home job. He's the one you go to to check up on the site that just sent you an email telling you how much money you can make by taking payments from people and sending out checks from your account to this company over seas. He can tell you REAL quick that you're going to get scammed - as if we didn't already know that!in reference to: Clark Howard: Work At Home Help on clarkhoward.com (view on Google Sidewiki)