Writing the Wild Soul, Katoomba NSW
November 3 - November 7
Wild musk and whispers of soul press into our waking and dreaming, leave tracks outside the door of our everyday concerns, tap at our closed windows, beckon us into the moonlight, or twilight, or star splattered night, where nothing precisely resembles the crisply-defined world of day. A faint trail shimmers in the dimness, and maybe we notice a wind-borne scent, a distant hooting, or a sensation in belly or bare feet that pulls us, allures us along the trail, through the thicket to the far horizon where familiar phenomena and perception fall away. At the edge, a portal opens into the dreamtime, into the wilder psyche, the mythopoetic imagination, the mysterious primal presence at the heart of everything. When we fall into that world, nothing is the same again. Our eyes may see differently; we may hear the underground waters or beings from across time. Our satchels may be filled with peculiar treasures that we somehow recognise as gifts for a hungry world, if only we knew how to offer them.
Perhaps we long to express our encounters with mystery, wildness, or soul in such a way that the expression reflects and evokes the experience itself. Poets, writers and storytellers know that images, rhythm, texture, and lyrical language can cast a spell that potentially draws others into the essence of an experience, and thus, a wild perception or soulful knowing is passed from one to another.
In “Writing the Wild Soul,” we’ll explore practices that beckon us toward non-ordinary experience and modes of participation with the world. We will press our ears to the ground, listening for mythopoetic language, for sounds and words with mud still clinging to their roots, or hinting of the holy, or gasping with transformation or dismemberment. We’ll track images that can be translated into words, listening for the rhythmic breathing, faint howls, or leaping hooves of our Earthy and numinous companions. We’ll practice bringing a whisper, or a full-bodied roar, from the alluring, soul-filled, animate world to the page.
“Writing the Wild Soul” is designed for those who are called to encounters with the intertwined mysteries of nature and psyche, and called, as well, to writing, poetry, spoken word, or storytelling – or other forms of expression. All levels and forms of writing are welcome; we are less interested in literary skill than in risking expression of that which can (nearly) not be expressed.
About the facilitator: Geneen Marie Haugen’s work has appeared in many journals and collections, including Thomas Berry, Dreamer of the Earth and Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth; Parabola Journal; Kosmos; High Country News; Ecopsychology; Written River, and others. She is a three-time recipient of literary fellowships from the Wyoming Arts Council, including twice for nature writing, and was a finalist for the 2018 Siskiyou Environmental Literature prize. Some of her writing can be found at these links: http://www.dailygood.org/story/1981/wild-faith-geneen-marie-haugen/, https://issuu.com/hiraethpress/docs/wr_winter2013, https://www.kosmosjournal.org/reader-essay/seeding-images-of-possibility/, https://sageunicorn.wordpress.com/tag/geneen-marie-haugen/
Cost: Full $1530.00 Early bird (before 30 August) $1375.00 Scholarship $1150.00