Sunday, February 22, 2009

It's been a while since I've logged in to blogger...There's so much I've been wanting to blog about, too--I wanted to say happy birthday to Abe, wanted to share with you the valentine I wrote to Obama for CODEPINK, wanted to tell you about my experiences seeing Bruce Sterling and Junot Diaz and Col. Ann Wright speak (all inspiring in very different ways). But mostly what I've wanted to share is a sense of renewal.

Last weekend, the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies (nee the Johnston Center for Individualized Learning, nee Johnston College) at the University of Redlands celebrated it's 40th anniversary, and hosted a big reunion (in this case, called a "renewal") to mark the occasion. Johnston is a progressive, innovative, alternative living/learning community where students create their own B.A. programs (mine was "Poetry and Movement: Arts of Expression, Meditation and Healing"). The weekend was full of reconnection through food and seminars and dancing and storytelling and ritual and just plain hanging out (you can check out the schedule here); so wonderful to see old friends, to hear about the amazing things that people have been up to (creating intentional communities and schools in Hawaii, doing humanitarian work around the world, raising beautiful children, creating jobs that let them live out their passions).

For me, the weekend most importantly offered a real sense of integration. The last year has been such a year of change for me that I've almost felt as if I had entered a different universe than the one I had inhabited before. At the reunion/renewal, I felt my past and present come together into one big whole; I felt my writer self, my dancer self, my activist self, my student self, my teacher self, my friend self, my entire self settle into itself more fully than I can recall. A joyous and healing time.


Laraine Herring said...

Yay, Yay, Yay Gayle!! :-)

Love you, much!

Sunny Dey said...

Hey Gayle! I'm a 3rd Johnston student & the renewal was incredible. One of the best weekends of my life.
Just a heads up- 2 Johnston students are headed to Gaza with COdePink including myself & we'd love to talk with you before we leave, or definitely when we get back.