It has been almost a week since the conference, and my opinion of it hasn't changed. I always try to be careful with words, but i still think that i can say that the conference was the greatest experience of my life so far. I have never before felt so accepted, so loved, and so safe. And certainly never felt that way by so many people.
To everybody that came up to me and said hi, or said "king tut!", i am so grateful! I have never felt so happy.
I attended the Thursday Mike Lew workshop. This was a really good idea because it allowed me to make bonds with people which helped bonding throughout the weekend, and i met even more people throughout the weekend. I have been to a Mike Lew workshop before, and each time you learn something new about recovery and about yourself, and about the nature of the world and other people, and friendship. An EXTREMELY powerful experience.
I wish i could be as detailed as Mark in his post, but there are far too many people to mention. I keep thinking back to everybody that i met, and it is unbelievable. Everybody was so nice, so understanding, so friendly, so great! it was fantastic meeting so many people here from the site, and having dinner with many of you. It was great meeting the members of the modteam and administration in person- i am just completely honoured to be working with you all! Such great guys!
It was fantastic seeing Mike Lew again, he is such a great guy, and he always has it exactly right. I was pleased to attend a workshop run by Jeff Conway, who also helped out at Mike Lews workshop. I saw Mic hunter but did not have the opportunity to talk to him. I talked to Richard Gartner a little, he is a very approachable and friendly man. I was also honoured to have lunch with Ken Singer, an amazing member of our team and an amazing person. I have books by most of these guys so it was amazing being able to meet them in person. Actually, so many of the guys i had the privilege of talking to who came to the conference have their own initatives and organisations that all deserve a mention- although i haven't got the brain capacity or time to do that lol. One such person, his name is Bob F, has a group called VitalCycles- i talked to him for a while and he really knows what he is doing, a really knowledgeable guy, he has a website by that same name. I went to Joe Korts workshop, it was about SMSM (straight men who have sex with men). It was the best short workshop that i attended because it is where i learnt the most. It certainly kept me thinking and questioning and he was very good with his responses. I learnt some new things. It was also nice to see Steve from AMSOSA there, that was a really pleasant suprise!
A special thanks to Mark for organising the dinner on Thursday night, really thank you, it worked out brilliantly. You really helped to make the occassion special and memorable.
A special thanks to Logan for taking me to the Empire state building, and sticking around even though you had lots of work to do, it was an immensely powerful experience and i look forward to the next time our paths cross.
Also to John (walkingsouth), thanks for the brilliant speech you made and thanks for the long talks we had and for looking out for me. It was so great having lunch with you and i really enjoy your enthusiasm for life and your smile. When you smile i can really see your inner child shining through. You really are an inspiration.
And Larry, without you i wouldn't have been there at all, i don't have to tell you how much you mean to me, and how much you have done for this cause. You certainly are a saint. Thanks for being my voice when i can't find it, and being my rock when things get hard.
And Dale, and the whole of your group (i would try naming everybody but i always get names muddled up), thanks so much for the dinner we had, it was so good talking to all of you and really inspirational seeing the bond you all have with eachother, and experiencing the friendliness and warmth that you give out. Thanks for being so nice, so kind, so accepting. You are really good guys.
There were many workshops that i wanted to attend but you can't attend them all because they are on at the same time.
I held back many tears during the conference, but they were tears of joy. I remember at the end of Mike Lews workshop (after a certain powerful exercise) we were all clapping, and it hit me, it hit me that we weren't only clapping for eachother and because of the power of the thing that we had just done, but we were clapping for ourselves. I looked around the room, there were over 40 of us, and i was looking at everybody clapping, i was so happy. I am crying now just thinking about it. I don't know how to describe that moment, perhaps the best word i can find is "beautiful". It was beautiful, the most beautiful thing that i have ever seen. Also, i'm not sure if my partner during one of the exercises, John, is on this site, but if he is i want to thank him too, you are great.
Everybody who i talked to, who talked to me, or even just smiled at me from across the room, and everybody who came or helped out to make this into the success that it was, THANK YOU. It really means a hell of a lot to me. I will remember all of you, and hope to see you again, and hope to see more people come too.
There is so much i could write, and so many people i would like to mention. But i do have a tendency to write too much, so i should stop whilst i am ahead.
"...until lambs become lions"
I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.