Writing Freely, freely writing

Mindcamp Mindcamp 2014

by Russell Thomas

There must have been some magic in the early morning Writing Freely sessions at Mindcamp this year. Facilitated by Maggie Dugan, a self-declared non-morning person, attendance grew with each passing day.

“This must be a Canadian thing,” she said. “In the States, attendance tends to dwindle to just a few people by the final day.”

We were almost a full house by the time Sunday’s writing exercises got underway. We were treated to some lovely prompts, exercises and readings. I’ll never forget the sonorous and heart-melting piece written and read in French by René Bernèche. Many of us couldn’t understand the words, but the meaning and beauty were clear. And yes, there were a few tears.

One of the exercises that we did was to write something based on a word or phrase picked randomly out of a selection of books that Maggie had brought along. I flipped to a page and my eyes (and heart) focused on one word: Providence. This was what emerged.


Mindcamp was providence
Elusive, effusive, immersive

Loving, embracing, igniting

A smiling face
  An idea
    A flash of inspiration
      Insight tremoring,
        vibrating, drilling,

The days meld, like a super-heated sandwich,
One slice of activities indistinguishable from the other in a messy melange

Tasty, wholesome, nutritious
sustaining, fulfilling

Mindcamp. Mein Kampf! It sounds like a popular book
from about a century ago

Mindcamp. Mind-camp.
My mind. Our minds, together again,
our creative family, bountiful bonds
surreal forces and undeniable attractions,
souls mingling – hearts beating

as one, as many, as one,
as it should be.

Mindcamp settles into our bones
and leaves us, as Steve Shama says,
“one moment short of a tear”.

Russell ThomasRussell Thomas, a presenter last year, decided to be 100% participant this year.

Comments 3

  1. Thank you Russell for sharing your insightful and inspiring poem. I had wished everyone at Mindcamp could have heard it after you read it to us and am so grateful you have. ):-)

    Thank you also for sharing the emotion of Rene’s poem “Time”. This tearful and awe-inspiring moment will stay with me forever.

    And Rene if you see this post, would you be able to share your Poem “Time” with the rest of the Mindcampers too?

    Let’s continue to share the Love that was felt in that workshop!

    Thanks Maggie for leading it and creating the amazing space.

    Barbara xo

  2. Magic seems to keep sprouting and blossoming in the world of Mindcamp, especially this year, I think. I totally agree with Russell and Barbara, and probably all the Writing Freely participants that it began each day for us in Maggie’s early morning sessions and was fuelled by experienced and gentle guidance, inspiring prompts, and the generous sharing of those spontaneous creations and insights.

    Thank you all! Well Done!!!

    “A miracle is when one plus one equals a thousand.”
    ― Frederick Buechner

  3. What a treasure to hear these reflections, as they match my experience: magical. Thank you all for the grace and presence and for the beautiful words we inspired together.

    PS mornings aren’t so bad after all…

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