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How I Forgot 2023

Going back through my 2023 date book to add recurring appointments to the 2024 book was eye-opening. It made me see how I forgot 2023. I could easily remember some wonderful new developments in my life in 2023. The Contemplative Writing Group, for one. My informal group of NOLA women asking the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana to own up to its founding by slave traders for another. And a writing friend who meets me at a local coffee shop where we…write.

I was also well aware of the continuation of that which I love. Such as the Writing Room at 100 Men Hall in Bay St. Louis. My small writing group of four incredible writers. The Justice group at the School for Contemplative Living. Our incredible group of facilitators on the Mississippi Episcopal Diocese’s Becoming Beloved Community team.

But What I Forgot

I had forgotten about the talk on creativity that I gave for Mississippi Free Press. Also slipping from my mind were the book studies I led with the amazing Loretta Hulin. One was prep for a Lenten retreat and the other for our Beloved Community’s summer book study. While I remember doing a creativity talk at the Hancock County Library, I would’ve said it was earlier than last year. It was embarrassing how I forgot 2023

Why I Forgot 2023

My life last year was dominated by three trips. One to Europe, one to the Canadian Rockies, and a trip to Breckenridge. For folks like us who rarely travel, these were major. We also reestablished a presence in Memphis. First, we moved into an apartment in March then successfully bought a condo in June. I also cut my year into “before and after” when I hurt my back in June and took my first ambulance ride to the hospital because I couldn’t move. These big events nudged out of my memory the other happenings, which were crucially important to me at the time, and now.

If nothing else entered my life, 2024 would be full.

Yet, I know new things are on the horizon. For one, Tom and I have signed up for Sacred Ground training. That will be every other week through the spring. I’ve signed up for a new School of Contemplative Living group with the wonderful Ed Bacon to study his book The Eight Habits of Love. I’ve read the book and can’t wait to discuss it with a group. I also expect my volunteering with PEN America on their prison writing mentoring will increase.

I’m feeling some sort of way about looking at such a full year. It’s what I want, yeah? But it’s also a bit intimidating to have so much of my year already decided. I guess this tells me how much I view the future as an uncharted adventure. How much I depend on that. Of course, I can still do uncharted things. Like making more Thumb Prayers for women experiencing domestic violence. Being someone who practices Tai Chi. Swimming. And…who knows!

Head shot of me in watch cap and scarf looking contemplative...maybe because I forgot 2023
Thinking about using this as my new author photo. What think ye?

Contemplative Writing, How I forgot 2023, Looking back at 2023, Mississippi Free Press, The Eight Habits of Love, The Writing Room at 100 Men Hall

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