Writing Retreat Reflection: Becoming a Swan in Barcelona

January 27, 2016
retreat reviews, workshop

Much of my life has been spent knowing I was the ugly duckling of the family. I am and have always been surrounded by beautiful women. It began with my sisters: whether younger or older than me, my sisters have always surpassed me in beauty, grace and femininity.

When I chose to wear jeans long enough to drag on the ground that were etched with pictures exhibiting the boredom I felt in various classes, my older sisters wore tailored skirts with heels and makeup. Even my sister, younger by 10 years, was regaling her fellow second-graders with her matching raincoat and umbrella.

Writing Retreat Reflection: Becoming a Swan in Barcelona

At the Barcelona retreat: a writing break on the terrace
At the Barcelona retreat: a writing break on the terrace

Where did I come from, and why didn’t I fit in? I was the ugly duckling among the swans.

As my life continued, I became more aware of the difference—I was now not only the ugly duckling but the chubby ugly duckling. No frills for me—only jeans and shirts that covered my bulk and discouraged attention were good enough for me.

Yet, as I found myself looking around that quaint room, I realized I was looking at works of art creating works of art.

Fast forward to November 2015 when I decided to take a chance to dive into the unknown. I believe myself to be a decent writer, a writer with writer’s block. So, when one of my swans presented the idea of traveling to a writing retreat with women of like mind, it was too good to pass up.

Here was a writing retreat with other women, taking place in the exotic locale of Barcelona, Spain. Pink Pangea—even the name of the sponsoring organization spun a tale of female support and togetherness that I had come to embrace in this latter part of my life. How could I miss this opportunity?

Life and writing has taught me how subjective words and their definitions can be. What does it mean to be beautiful or successful, or for that matter, young? Each woman in the room where we met each day described a physical and/or metaphysical trait that she saw as a fault or drawback about herself. Yet, as I found myself looking around that quaint room, I realized I was looking at works of art creating works of art.

Check out Pink Pangea’s Writing, Yoga, and Meditation Retreats.

At the Barcelona retreat: a snack break after the Sagrada Familia
At the Barcelona retreat: a snack break after the Sagrada Familia

I had come full circle. I was, once again, surrounded by swans. The “flaws” that we each described of ourselves were outshined by the graceful feminine aura of encouragement and support we gave each other.

Thank you Barcelona Swans.

 

Writing Retreat Reflection: Becoming a Swan in Barcelona 

About Barbara Lord

One thought on “Writing Retreat Reflection: Becoming a Swan in Barcelona

  1. Allie Moore
    January 27, 2016
    Reply

    Beautiful piece, Barbara! Hugs from Spain. 🙂
    -Allie

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