Story has a way of getting into the nervous system of the entire conference over the week. It brushes elbows with ritual, influences the food we eat and when we eat it, supports the work of poetry, activism, and art; it also guides how we raise our kids, celebrate our dying and handle that long bit in the middle. This is not to say that the wider arts don’t also take central stage, but all jostle and commingle quite winningly once the conference begins. It is an absolutely unique experience, not to be forgotten, but rather recalled slowly and lovingly in the months between gatherings.
The stories don’t behave in a conventional, power-point manner. They wander down to the lake to croon at the loons, they turn up unexpectedly in late night conversations, erupt in child’s drawings in chalk on a Monday morning. And all feel the wealthier for their wayward manners.
Part of the lure of the Great Mother and New Father Conference is the unwavering sense of community and belonging. Unlike other conferences where people come and go, we are together from one beginning to another. It is an essential ingredient in the magic of the conference that we all arrive and settle in for the full week. The conference is generally held over the last week in May into the first week in June. See registration for the dates for this year.