Lisa hiking

What began as a sabbatical from teaching so that I could write my next book has turned into an extended “walkabout” in search of self, home, community, and rekindled love on the far side of parenthood.

In December of 2014, my husband and I sold the New Jersey house in which we raised our two children. We gave away most of our belongings, stored the rest, and, with only a hazy notion of what was next, set out to find a place to resettle—not just geographically; also psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. Our journey has taken us by car from New York City to San Francisco—with “home stays” along the way in Santa Fe, Boulder, and Ashland—and by plane and by boat to New Zealand, Australia, and Bali. Our current (and possibly final) resting place is Santa Cruz, California.

Lisa hiking

My itinerant lifestyle notwithstanding, and thanks to a recent writing residency at Hedgebrook, I have managed to finish the first draft of my memoir, Skinny-Dipping, set in the cooperative Quaker-turned-hippie community where I was raised. If my first book was born out of the universal yet personal drive to make sense of motherhood, then my second comes from the tug many of us feel in midlife to return to the place we came from—not so that we can preserve our history but so that we can liberate ourselves from our past. I have also taken the first faltering steps toward imagining a new book, inspired by our walkabout. As always, I attribute my progress on the page to my daily writing practice. The act of writing has kept me rooted during this time of uprootedness; my notebook has been my home during this period of homefreeness.

Stay tuned…and stay in touch! I would love to hear about your journeys.

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