Creative Retreat

white or black

| a poem by Erin Hanson

I’m gathering myself back in,
Collecting all my pieces,
Sitting down with who I was
To figure out what peace is.

I’m holding hands with younger selves,
Each version that was me,
And hoping that mine will be held
By who I come to be.

I’m finding my forgiveness
In the spaces where I’ve grown,
I’m gathering myself back in
And welcoming me home.

This is the third poem I quote from Erin Hanson I share here in my blog. I am in love with the simplicity of her words on the one hand, and the direct impact she achieves on me on the other hand. The first poem I quoted from her was the poem “Let me Tell you”, the second one was the poem “Not”.

Creative Retreat
Last November, I had talked about the importance of introspection in a blog post. From the end of August I fortunately have the opportunity to practice it again and would like to talk briefly in this blog about my motivation and how to shape it.

Why a retreat?
If I no longer carry energy within myself, I am not able to give my energy to others, to share it with them. This lack then flows into all my activities. Certainly I am then a worse listener, my lectures at the university may have less persuasiveness and less passion, in my research I have less good ideas and am less persistent, my photos then do not have the energy to tell a good story, … Out of lack, something good can rarely come. Then I am not present and less noticeable. Only when I am in my power, I can transfer it to others and in all my projects. A retreat fulfils exactly this purpose for me: to rebuild energies, to recharge and to give structure, vision and direction to all ideas again.

How do I design my retreat?
My favorite thing is to go out into nature alone for a while. To a hut in the mountains. No electricity. No connectivity. Simplicity. Instead, lots of paper to write on, lots of pens, colorful Post-Its, strings, glue, lots of books with which to make myself at home in the cabin, a musical instrument (this time I’m starting to learn the handpan), my camera, lots of exercise in the fresh air, good food, lots of joy, and no plan. No expectations either. I let everything come that wants to arise.

In contrast, structure is very important to me. In morning and evening rituals I meditate a lot and look for the connection to myself. These rituals are important for me and I always try to give them priority over everything else.

Overall, I currently feel this is more profitable for me than going on trips and meeting other people. This is nice, but again only generates new input and new noise. Staying in one place instead of traveling between places reduces this new information for me. This opens up the possibility to meet myself, to face my own questions and to give myself structure and energy. I’m really looking forward to it.

Where is your next retreat going?



– Erin Hanson: thepoeticunderground,, 2014.
– Erin Hanson: Voyage – The Poetic Underground #2,, 2014.
– Erin Hanson: Dreamscapes – The Poetic Underground #3,, 2016.
– Erin Hanson poetry on Instagram @thepoeticunderground