- An unsought, unintended, and/or unexpected discovery and/or learning experience that happens by accident and sagacity.
I’ve spent the last week or so searching for a way to describe to anyone what my first weekend away from my children was like. Part of me doesn’t want to describe it, so as to keep it mine and mine alone but really, it is too magnificent to leave out of my small corner of the blogosphere. So you get it. A kernel, a smidge, a scoonch.
I’m actually a little bit surprised that the earth didn’t shake on August 6th, 2010. Wait. Maybe it did. Did it? Hold on, I’m going to Google it. O.K. If the earth shook, it wasn’t a headline maker. Moving on.
Have you ever made a new recipe, complicated and somewhat questionable? And then, in the middle of making it you realize you are missing a thing or two so on top of making a new recipe you also have to improvise? Really, when you think about it, there isn’t a recipe in the world that would suck, as long as the elements of it are all desirable to you. So, like, I wouldn’t cook with poop or blood and God help me, neither would you. Right? Right? The only real risk you take with a new recipe is that once put together, one element wont mesh with another and after you eat it you want to cut your tongue out. Yes, I know you have and if you haven’t, you need to fucking cook more. Now. Go cook and then read this post.
As I was saying, at a certain point in the planning of my trip to Sedona I had no choice but to just let go of any expectation or anticipation. It was going to be organic no matter how much I tried to plan or control it and since I tend to be a bit of a control freak, well, let’s just say that it was a fantastic exercise for me. My intention was to get away, rip the band-aid off, reconnect with women, and relax. I had some specific ideas of what I wanted, actual visions of what I wanted, most of them revolving around a dining room table and water. Outside of that, it was completely blank in my mind. This is something that is so typically difficult for me (the unknown) that it has been known to make me just an eensy weensy bit insane. The weeks leading up to the trip were fraught with the chaos of nerves and the calming with deep breathes and as I’ve said, letting go.
What happened is this: Magic. I’ve seen some pretty magnificent things in my life: a child falling off a cliff and landing with only a broken arm, an ill and practically mute relative tell me everything I needed to know with a simple look, my children being born . . . you get the picture. However, one thing that has always been a bit of a mystery to me is the wedge so commonly found between women. It may sound as if I am generalizing—I don’t mean to—but I have found that when women unknown to one another gather in one place, there is a certain evaluation that takes place. They’re all, “Oh my God, Becky. Look at her butt! It is so big!” Guards remain up, judgment occurs (spoken or unspoken), defensiveness and mistrust is usually evident, and misunderstanding tends to happen pretty frequently. I too have been one of those women, so please, don’t think that I am trying to say anything as if I am above it. I’m not. However, I am able to recognize it happening and really question it.
I asked without asking that the 4 women joining me in Sedona show up and have a great time. I didn’t want to be infected by anyone’s nasty negative mood, but I didn’t really say that. I was so excited, that I am pretty sure they received more e-mails from me in two weeks than anyone else has in our entire relationship. Reminders, weather reports, excitement, flight details, ideas for activities, and questions about food were the typical content. And then, all of a sudden, I was at the airport. You would think that not seeing someone for 20 years would make the initial reunion a little awkward! But, sweet Jesus! I just wanted to smooch her and stick her in my pocket the second I saw her! Seriously people, you know how, when high school girls see each other after being apart for, like, six minutes, they hug and jump at the same time while squealing? (That’s a requirement, right?) Yeah. That is what I felt like. And that was just the first out-of-towner.
The other two flights and long-lost friends came in (yes, there was squealing) and our trip (and veritable love fest) began. You need to know that there was one brave soul on this trip, braver than the rest, as she is a new (and local) friend to me. She signed on to come, needing to get away for her own reasons and, really, jumping into more of an unknown than any one of us. It is a testament to how completely interested we all were in each other when I tell you that, after leaving Phoenix and driving for an hour and a half, we discovered that we were almost in California, and nowhere near Sedona. Ah . . . women. But, as one of my more eloquent friends put it, “we got all that small shit out of the way.”
Within 10 minutes of arriving in Sedona (after first stocking up on groceries), we were cooking a meal together. There is something about women cooking together that makes me all tingly. (And if that isn’t a word, it really ought to be.) All of us maneuvering around one another in a tiny kitchen, “getting shit done,” as my wonderfully potty-mouthed friend stated. I had to marvel at how perfect and natural it all felt.
There are so many things I want to tell you, but then I would have to kill you. Or at the very least find a way to wipe your memory clean, which would be extremely cool. Oh my God. Wouldn’t that be the coolest? Most important to know, though, is that, in one weekend, with random women from across the country, virtually unknown to one another, we all (and I can say this with confidence) became connected. Never once did I experience a moment like the one I described earlier, with women being catty. We, for whatever reason, came to this trip totally open to anything, and we remained that way the entire time.
What the fuck do men do when they get together? Seriously!
Within 5 minutes of our first margarita, my new friend that came with me from Tucson said something that became a theme to me for the entire trip. We were all talking, and she said to one of my long lost friends, “I love how there is this long moment of silent laughter before you laugh out loud.” Not only did she mean it, but she said it. Such a small thing, I know, but what I realize now is that it was a weekend of noticing. We are so busy and preoccupied in life, that the nuances that make us who we are, and which so desperately deserve to be noticed, go unnoticed. All of these women spent the entire weekend not just listening to one another but hearing what was being said. They didn’t just observe one another, they noticed the little things. They didn’t just show up on this trip for a vacation, they were open to an experience. And really, they didn’t just enjoy one another, they loved one another. Love, pure and fucking true.