4```A Dream in the Middle of Nowhere

6.8 - 6.16

This week I was in Danbury, NH, a tiny town with no phone service. A group of friends and I got an airbnb by a lake there, and just hung out with no agenda for six days. We read, chatted, killed a lot of mosquitoes. It was a chaotic week, in the bestest way. So here’s an unorganized page, with snippets of the week: what I saw, heard, learned, experienced. There were many moments during this retreat, when I did my best to be present and fully experience the moment, yet I knew the moments were so surreal that I’d hardly be able to believe them some months or years later. This is when I wish I could be better at writing, so I could more accurately depict what happened and what was felt, and the future Wendi will be able to sketch out these surreal, beautiful pasts. Bear with me ...

- On one night, each of us read a poem for the group. Here are some of them:
    The Egg (Kenneth)   
    The Passing of Life (Zuck)

    Mending Wall, Desiderata, All is Truth (Aidan)

- a favorite moment: I was standing on a wooden chair on top of a really narrow bench, my legs shaking, and Cameron, who was already on the roof, reached out to hold my hand. All I needed to do was jumping and trusting him. It took me a while to get mentally prepared, but when I eventually did jump, (and lied flat on my belly on the corner of the roof like a dead frog) and Cameron and Aidan somehow pulled me up, I felt incredibly free. It was my first time being on an actual roof with no walls around: I unlocked a new corner of the world, with a unique and incredible view. The cloud that day happened to look like the white laces of the ocean waves. Watching Elin (who joined later), Aidan and Cameron running, rolling, jumping on the roof and laughing just like kids do under the ocean-sky, I thought I was in a Studio Ghibli movie. Despite the twenty mosquito bites I got, it was definitely one of my favorite memories of this year. 

- A journal entry: Our mind could run so free and we could find our body so reluctantly heavy and unable to keep up with the mind that wants to jump up to the roof and crawl into the ocean-sky’s bosom. Yet we are so much lead by our body, too — our desires and needs are communicated to us through our body, how we physically feel, in all the nuanced ways, and they influence what we do, in all the nuanced ways as well.

- On the last night, we did tarot card reading for fun. The question we asked was: what will our next year be like? I got the card “pleasure” (six of cups), which is about “harmony with natural forces without effort” and “deep inner warmth”, along with many other great things I don’t remember. Sounds like my gap year is looking great.

- Jasmine recommended me some cool and fun websites:
New Age Bullshit Generator
Credibility Coalition
Computer Utopias
Web Futures

- another favorite moment: kayaking and swimming in the pink sunrise at 5 am. I was alone in the water and surrounded by the morning mist. At some point during my kayaking, the water appeared to be still, and the woods in front of me was perfectly reflected in the lake as if I was kayaking on a glass surface. Despite the twenty more mosquito bites I got, this was also a very incredible experience I will cherish.

- another journal entry: Humans are profoundly dumb and simple. No matter how big of a universe our mind seeks to contain, no matter how many models we are making about the world, consciousness and human existence, we still need to pee, still need to grab the last few spoonfuls of yoghurt from the fridge, add some Nutella and frozen berries, to satisfy our stomach before we can continue, dive back into the complex equations and existential thoughts. We are simple like that. And it’s so freeing to think this way, to not take ourselves too seriously, while immersing ourselves in all the world’s greatness.

- more favorite moments:
    Aidan reading poetry out loud on the grass

    Aidan (while in the lake) yelling he’s just a mouth of the lake

    Elin teaching me yoga

    that one time chatting with Cameron and Luca, when Luca spoke many truths in an effortlessly funny way

    meditating with the group (especially the time Ari led the meditation, in which he said “You’re a gold fish. Remember your 2 second attention span.”)

    cooking! (especially when Zuck Ari and I made mac n cheese with crazy sauces/spices on top)

    eating! (especially, thanks to chefs Julia and Daniel, we had our own bread, granola, and crepes)

    stargazing with the group. Both the first night when there were so many stars the sky really appeared to be lit by them, and the second time when, depiste having no stars, the woods looked like dark ink loosely spread across the canvas and we watched the mist slowly coming to us 

    individual conversations with everyone in the group. Sincerely.

Thank you so much, Adam, Aidan, Ari, Cameron, Daniel, Elin, Kenneth, Jasmine, Julia, Luca, Sam, Sonia, and Zuck, for the wonderful memories!! Especially, thank you, Luca, for putting this together and being our dad.