by Anna Blash
“Take out your pen and write,” Clive Matson said, his eyes calm and cool like the ocean’s horizon from the Nosara B&B veranda. A group of strangers from all walks of life: a Mexican poet, professional journalists, African American social worker, locals living in Nosara had one thing in common: ”What am I possibly going to write about?” spelled on their faces. Clive continued, “Turn off the editor and let your creative unconscious write! It doesn’t have to be good.” It was a typical morning at the writer´s workshop.
I sunk down into a hammock listening to the bamboo rustle in the morning breeze, and began to write away. After lunches, pens tapped notebooks nervously while each awaited his turn to share. Page by page our stories, and poems revealed themselves as diverse, yet with the same human emotions and obstacles we all face in our lives. A silent bond began to grow between us.
“Now pretend the reader is not here, ” Clive smirked and the group began the critique. It was like hearing juicy gossip about yourself: permission to ease drop. With Clive’s guidance and encouragement it felt easier to share what the editor’s voice inside all of us says ¨No good, you can’t share this garbage!”
At moments I wondered if I was in group therapy as I listened to stories of heart-breaks, mysteries, loses and triumphs, love and tragedy. But Petuka, the B&B puppy, would come dashing by barking at swinging howler monkeys, reminding that writing doesn’t have to be so serious. In between all the retreat´s daily excursions, Clive managed to find time to meet with each of us, unlocking that “crazy child,” within that just wants to write without all the doubts and worries of what’s good and what isn’t.
After nine days strangers became friends, united by ink, Costa Rican heat, laughs and cries, and something beyond any words one can write. Both real, and universal, we shared a sense of being human, and a freedom we often watch children enjoy, of letting the crazy kids within us come out to play.
It was time to say good-bye until next year’s writer’s retreat. However, us local writer’s have decided to keep the creative unconscious flowing by hosting a writer’s potluck at the Nosara B&B every Wednesday night from 6:00 to 9:00pm. Please join us. For details call Deborah 2682-0209.
And remember, only purple jellyfish can write professionally.