I’m sorry it has taken so long for me to write those words to you. What we created in October left me in a state that has been difficult to name over the past few months. It left me in awe, in wonder, in thankfulness, in reflection, in grief, in sadness, in joy - in contemplation, deep contemplation. The time we had together was what I had dreamt it would be. So many of us came together to create space for each other to share what our lives have been like, what we have believed over the years, what we take refuge in now - and how we can walk forward together. That’s all I could have ever hoped for. Sure, when I analyze the conference I’m able to see the spaces where we excelled and the spaces where we need to improve - and surely, we will improve. But when I reflect on the hugs shared, the words spoken, the laughter, the dancing, the tears, the meeting of new friends - only thankfulness overwhelms me.
Each of you brought the gift of your life to share with others. This gift of vulnerability and openness is one that I continue to reflect on, as I’m realizing that the creation of this conference left me feeling very vulnerable and very open. The varying aspects of the conference represented different pieces of my heart, my life. The conference was a culmination of so much that has happened over the years of my life - and when it came into being, it was as if I could not handle the beauty of it all. So, if you all have been wondering where I’ve been, I’ve been here. Moving into a new place with my partner, navigating the never-ending waves of immigration, watching a lot of Netflix, taking my dog to the park, and cooking - all the while remembering you. I find that I still do not have the words to accurately describe the many feelings in my heart and the love that I have for all of you - but I hope this letter is a beginning that will allow more words to flow.
Thinking about planning another conference for this year has been an overwhelming thought, at best. I find the exhaustion from last year’s planning is bone deep and only fading slowly. But I remembered this morning that just as I did not create the last conference in isolation, I will also not create this one without help. We created a beautiful space together in 2018. Will you join me in 2019 to do it all over again?
I love you all.