As I was parking my car for the journaling workshop, I saw a woman towing a small cart behind her.
Hmmm, I mused. She must be going to Orly’s class too.
I wonder what she has in tow? For once, I was traveling light. I’d brought my journal, a few paints, brushes and pens.
I’d been following the teacher, Orly Avineri for a few years. I love her style, her depth and her rich textures. Her work feels like someone who’s traveled her inner highways.
I knew I had to be here at this workshop, on this weekend.
As Orly began, she told us to bring out the materials we’d brought – fabric, old pictures, memorabilia. We were building nests.
I looked around.
My stomach did a mini-flop.
I didn’t have any “materials.”
I didn’t bring anything but my journal. After all, it was a JOURNALING workshop. I’d even asked in the FB group if we were supposed to bring anything and I heard nothing back.
I gently chirped, “Ummm, I don’t have any materials. I must have missed that memo,” feeling the heat of embarrassment race down my neck.
With eagle eyes, Orly looked at me, “You didn’t bring any materials?” she said, in a kind and yet curious tone.
Missed that memo.”
“OK,” she glided on without missing a wing beat.
“Well, you can use some of mine and I’m sure people will share.”
Heads began nodding in the room of 11 women.
Before I knew it, I had a pile of papers, cheese cloth, string and pictures in front of me to build my nest. I felt my shoulders drop down away from my ears and I took a long inhale and exhale.
I have everything I need, even when I think I don’t.
Even when I think I don’t!
We were building nests.
I’d been thinking about the nest – a home, a safe place, a place to grow and develop. A place that is about coziness, togetherness and family.
Just like Orly’s rich journal art, the weekend was already more complex than I had anticipated. Just weeks before, my half-sister, Vicki, had died and her memorial was in Los Angeles on the Saturday of the workshop weekend.
The moment I found that out, there was no question I had to be there.
My Saturday was spent in Vicki’s nest. I flew into the tender place where her kids, friends, and family honored her through their stories. I walked away with a beautiful picture of a woman devoted to raising her children to bloom into their most authentic selves – a true gift of a mother.
We all laughed and cried and I felt a sense of being inside the nest while there.
On Sunday, the instructions were to pull our nests apart and lay out the newly died strips of fabric and paper. Some balked a bit at deconstructing the carefully stitched together bundles. And yet everything that comes together eventually falls apart. Nothing is permanent.
The whole weekend felt like a dream and like I’d been delivered to the place I needed to be without me having to do anything. It was the perfect lesson. I just have to remember that I have everything I need, even when I think I don’t.