...the Journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

For the next few weeks, we'll be seeing magnets from Ned & Marta's refrigerator door.

This magnet seems to go quite well with the subject of today's journal!

Here are some of my theatre reviews, if you're interested.

Updated 3/10/01


A Heartbreaking Work
of Staggering Genius

by David Eggers


60 Minutes
Touched by an Angel
On Golden Pond

That's it for today!


30 April 2001

I had a call around noon today. It was my cousin calling on my motherís cell phone to ask if I were home because they wanted to stop by and visit. When I asked where she was calling from, she explained that it had taken her so long to figure out all the confounded modern technology of the phone that she was actually calling from a block away, and, in fact, by the time I got to the front door, they were pulling into the driveway.

We had an enjoyable visit. One cousin had been staying with another cousin to help her following a surgical procedure. My mother had gone up to join with them and other family members for dinner last night. I couldnít make it because of being with Steve at Stanford, but apparently a good time was had by all.

During the course of our conversation, my cousin mentioned a womenís retreat she attends each year and how two other of our cousins had expressed an interest in going. She thought she would also send me an invitation because she felt that I might enjoy it.

I donít know much about it yet, though it is apparently rooted in American Indian tradition, she tells me. And one goal is to help women free their own creativity. She says she has seen women begin to paint, to write, and to discover a creative side many of them never dreamed they had. She herself teaches a course in "writing from the heart," which she says often evokes tears from her students, as they begin to put their feelings on paper. The idea of a writing exercise which delves into the depths of oneís soul sounds very inviting.

The week is spent in the redwoods and you are apparently cut off from everything. I think about my friend Will who belongs to the Bohemian Club, an organization of good olí boys who go off to whoop it up in the redwoods each year, and I wonder if the two groups ever get together!

And an important part of the womenís week, for my cousin, is the "sweat cave." Iím not quite sure about this, but apparently the participants remove all their clothing, go down to the river, roll around in and smear themselves with some "nice mud" and then sit around in a cave sweating together. And Iím sure doing other things.

But she lost me at the sweat cave.

Sweat has never been my thing.

Mud is not really my thing.

And nudity is definitely not my thing. Even given the fact that my cousin will never be accused of being anoretic either, as we are a similar size, so I wouldnít feel like the only hippopotamus there. She has lived a freer life than I, and that freedom has allowed her to throw caution--and undies--to the wind and let all the love handles flap in the breeze. Not I! It takes an awful lot for me to bare my soul--and my flab--and the thought of doing it strictly for the joy of sweating off mud just ainít enough.

The thought of it alone is enough to make me shudder.

I never even took a gym class where we had to shower together.

I am trying to imagine myself with three cousins (one of whom has a good enough body to consider this), joining with other women of indeterminate age and body types, all rolling around in the mud and then sweating together.

Iím sure that itís quite cathartic.

Iím sure that everyone will get a lot out of the process.

Iím sure that much creativity will be released.

But I think that when all this is all going on, I will be here at home, safely tethered to a modem connection, and very definitely holding tight to my undies.

One Year Ago:
I finally crashed

Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo

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Created 4/30/01 by Bev Sykes