I posted the following to the group FB page.
I'm late to this dance too. My first two hours off the plane were spent explaining my absence to a two-year-old who acquired language while I was gone and he wasn't buying my story. His watchword, the one all writers should quiver in front of, was “Why?” quickly followed by, “Hello, Nana.” simultaneously comforting himself with my return and scolding me for going in the first place.
Maybe it's because I'm reaching old. Maybe my heart is just too scarred over, but I felt myself unwilling or unable to lean into to the sweet gravity of camaraderie that flashed all around me like groundling firecrackers. It was all wonderful to behold, felt like backing your butt up to a bonfire, not too close, thanks. I knew I wasn't alone in my reticence. The ghosts were not on the sixth floor at all.
None of this to say I'm sad or sorry. On the contrary, I feel like I've been on a successful raiding party and have come home weighed down with pirated booty. Nope, not one single washcloth found it's way into my bag. It is the knowledge, the learning, the hints and warnings, the mysteries revealed and secrets shared. I'm rich, I tell you, rich! Do pirates say Thank you?
So now, I'm setting my wayback machine to the late 60's (Scootch closer, children. Let me tell you tales of love and rebellion.) Time to take stock of these treasures, go deep and get this job done and the next one begun. I'll come out to give blood every month or so - it's a special blend - and I'll keep tending the babies until I get them right too. Until 2018 my friends.