Saturday, October 24, 2009

Grand Hotel

About a month ago, I decided I really needed a break. I also wanted to get away and write. I sent off an e-mail to Sisters Kay and Annette Fernholz, Notre Dame Sisters who have a yurt on their Earthrise Farm in far Western Minnesota that can be used for retreats. I've been there once before, on a cold November weekend. It was quiet and warm and I was fairly productive. They weren't around that weekend, so it was a good solitary retreat for me. The one major drawback is that there are no bathroom or even outhouse facilities there, so you have to make trips to the nearby farmhouse to use the bathroom. That worked OK, since no one was in the farmhouse, but I got the impression after meeting them and having brunch with them on Sunday morning that if they were around, it might interrupt the solitude.

The yurt reservation fell through after they got a request for someone who wanted to stay a whole month. But things at work have been very difficult, and there have been weekend and evening obligations as well. My anxiety level has been high, and I knew if nothing else that I needed to "get away" for a break.

Of course, I'm now very in touch with the religious retreat options throughout the state. Every order has a guesthouse or retreat house of some sort. It would not be hard to reserve a room for a quiet, individual retreat. But due to my job, I just really wasn't relishing the idea of a religious retreat. I want to get away, after all. Thinking about what I would like, I realized that what I would like more than anything else would be to stay at a luxury hotel. Something old and classic, with a comfortable bed and deep tub. I went to Orbitz and looked around. After all, I've been an urban person most of my life, and I do miss cities, just being in them. And I feel like I know Minneapolis less well than any other place I've lived. (do I sound defensive? Yes, I feel a little embarrassed about this whole extravagent thing!)

So it is that I am spending two nights at the Grand Hotel, a 4-star hotel in Minneapolis. It has the added attraction of one of the city's best sushi restaurants and a world class fitness club (used by all sorts of people in the city, two floors, to which I have access).

I am trying not to put pressure on myself to write, but just to be-- to read, to relax, to continue my fitness program (18 days of Jillian Michaels workouts on the way to 30 days!) and the detox diet I've been on (adding miso soup and high quality raw fish to the regimen of broccoli, brown rice, oatmeal and a few fruits shouldn't throw my system off too badly). And now that I'm here, it clearly is a spa vacation more than a writing retreat. I'm trying to let myself have that, as I think it's exactly what I needed.

So after last night's workout, I soaked in the perfect tub, watched television and went to sleep early. This morning I got up, read the paper, went to breakfast (oatmeal, herb tea) at my favorite local joint, Moose and Sadie's, and took a walk over the Stone Arch Bridge that spans the Mississippi. Now I'm off for another workout, after which I will read some poetry and maybe write a little. The rules for myself are No Facebook and No E-mail (my boss always sends messages on Saturdays, and often others do, too). What I want to do is think creatively. What I want to do is feel good in my body, in space, and not have to clean, cook, garden or grocery shop. I think that will be very possible.

1 comment:

Sweet Mary Sunshine said...

Was it wonderful through and through? I'm so happy you did this for yourself!