Some kind words about our Serendipity 2013 Retreat




Photo by Kate Inglis

I can be withdrawn and overly thinky, but not with these women. Not anymore. God, we laugh. In the first two years they made me laugh when laughing felt impossible. They are growly and expansive, embracing and dismissive of all the right things. They waved illusions away with one hand while making ‘get over here’ gestures with the other.

I wanted to be there this year in a way that might return that favour to someone who needed it. I think I might have, and it was something, you know, to see from this side how little we know of how lovely we are when afraid, doubtful, conflicted, up to our necks in regret and hesitation. Everyone was so beautiful.  – Kate Inglis



The magic of women and the sea. 
Of exposed hearts and smooth stones, warm waves and squeezed hands. 
Of magic mirrors and red nails, midnight tea and soft words. 
Prayer ribbons and snapping wind, deep unease and jittery fear. 
Of profound wisdom and steady eyes, aches and tears and adolescent agitations and demeanors and teenage-girl giggles. 
And of extraordinary, exquisite beauty and soul encompasing hugs. – Arabella Crawford



I have started to call myself a retreat-junkie. This is my 7th in the last 4 years, and I have another one coming up. I think some people are able to find escape, reset, recharge for themselves in and amongst their daily routines. And I can squeeze that in here and there. But for me, I need capital ‘R’ Retreat. This big action of physically departing from my daily life every once in a while. Those electrifying leaps of breaking down boundaries, enrolling in a class that scares the crap out of me (writing with Maya Stein and Tingle – a whole blog post in itself), complete freedom – permission – to do exactly what feels right at any given moment for 5 entire days. Interacting with wholly different people for a little while.  – Michelle Farber


Photo by Diana Dellos




Heather Annais

Jess Yelvington

Madelyn Mulvaney

Diana Dellos

Donna Wynn

Kellye Kimmel

Kelly Nelson Warren

Melissa Piccola

Jessica Brogan

Kate Inglis

Michelle Farber

 …and some more images from our Flickr Group!



how we are not alone
 – a poem by maya rachel stein, read to us at closing ceremony  -

because a light on the other side of the street reveals
someone more insomniac than you.
because the camera made its way into the carry-on,
not for the traveler, but those staying behind.
because the daisy, its boastful yellow,
begged for a closer look.
because you found yourself being stared at
by horses.
because the church bell rang precisely at noon,
and all of the stores slid closed.
because someone else’s charcoal fire
made your own mouth water.
because you are afraid of losing him
in a crowd.
because of the mournful sound of train whistles.
because your father let you see him cry.
because a palm against a cheek
steers the world into softer focus.
because the poplars insist on
weathering the winter.
because of lighthouses.
because of shadows.
because of a shared memory of perfume.
because of the sound of feet on cobblestones.
because of window boxes.
because of the man spinning pizza dough
like a circus act.
because the apple tree freed itself of dessert.
because you could hear the waterfall
from a mile away.
because she understands
your every look.
because the martini glasses came in fours.
because the cashier’s hand grazed your palm,
despite the coins between you.
because even if the first words fail,
the next ones won’t.
because the car in the next lane signaled left.
because of the stone wall you found in the woods.
because the dog returns at a single
because of the brilliant descent of leaves,
and the pile that beckoned the neighbors.
because a handful of blackberries saved you
the last miles home.
because the stars look as if they’re winking.