5 July 2017
The inaugural Juicy Edge event closed this morning with the planting of a cherry tree at Sant Aniol in the heart of the Alta Garrotxa Nature Park, in Catalonia. 21 of us came together for four days, at the invitation of Korbi Hort, and in the spirit of our late friend Chris Seeley, to explore the juicy edges of our work, to support each other’s growth with clarity and creativity and to nourish our love and connection by being together in a place of great natural beauty.
Conversation flowed between old friends and new, as we ate together, made art, walked, canyoned, and sat around after dinner watching the sun go down and the moon come up. We wrote, sang, told stories, facilitated constellations, and clowned. We spent time alone by the river on solos. It was the kind of convivial, artful, inquiring space that Chris loved.
The enormous challenges of our time can sometimes take us to the very limits of our capacity to respond meaningfully. They demand renewal and development of our personal and professional practice to enable us to thrive whilst contributing our unique gifts to the world. I wrote this poem while I was in Sant Aniol to try and give voice to this life-enhancing spirit of inquiry.
An eagle from her eyrie falls
Then soars on high with burnished wings
And to our souls the mountain calls;
Beneath our feet, the river sings
A song of glory all its own,
Reminding us of greater things.
Whilst, in this house of living stone,
Perched safe upon its rocky ledge,
No longer do we dream alone.
A pilgrim band, we take a pledge,
Unsatisfied with what is known,
To seek and find the Juicy Edge.
On my six hour solo, I sat in silence by the river, seeking to learn something about who I am when I’m not doing, doing, doing. I deliberately took nothing to read and nothing to write with. Time moved at its own pace, undisturbed by texts and emails, unmediated by a wristwatch, marked only by the passage of the sun over the mountains and the movement of shadows on the rocks.
My companions were the flotillas of water boatmen scudding over the rock pools, the trout in the running water, the birds and butterflies that throng the valley, and a solitary eagle soaring above the western ridge.
It was a profound and moving experience. My mind drifted sometimes but for the most part I was able to stay present, noticing my place in the animate world.
And it was enough, simply to be.
I began my journey home today by retracing my steps across the Pont de Valenti, feeling a deep sense of gratitude for my life and, maybe, a little wiser about what it means to be human.
Of one thing I am certain.
I will come back.