From the High Hill: Odyssey Writing for Elders

A virtual writer’s retreat workshop 

January 23-24 & February 27-28 

Marilyn Jones, Facilitator – Chris Jarman, Support Facilitator

Each life is a journey. A unique and special journey. Looking back on our life, our own personal Odyssey, can be a meaningful experience, especially if shared with others. People often say that they think about writing the story of their life or recording it in some way to share with others but say that they don’t know how to or even where to start. 

The author of the From the High Hill program, Anne Odin Heller, has served as a District Executive (DE) for the UUA and has been a parish minister in congregations of various sizes. She says she wrote her own Odyssey when she was sixty and that, “My Odyssey-writing process turned out to mark a passage for me into elderhood. It was a profound experience.” It is also what led Anne to develop the curriculum for this workshop designed to help others wanting to write their personal Odyssey. 

We are pleased to announce that BBUUC is offering From the High Hill in early 2021. If writing your Odyssey interests you then register soon for this workshop being facilitated by Chris Jarman and BBUUC member, Marilyn Jones. From the High Hill is typically held as a two-part weekend retreat, with a month between sessions. To stay safe during this time of Coronavirus, Chris and Marilyn have adapted the program to the Zoom platform. Part 1 will be the weekend of Jan 23-24; Part 2 the weekend of Feb 27 -28. 

Part 1 will guide participants as they begin mining through their lifetime of stories and wisdom and will teach participants ways to organize and present their Odyssey. Part 2 gives participants the opportunity to share their stories with other workshop participants in a supportive environment. Ideally participants later share their Odysseys with the congregation at a special service of recognition honoring them as our community elders. Unitarian Universalists have many ways to acknowledge and honor life passages across the lifespan, but these are usually for children, youth, and young adults. From the High Hill is a way to honor the significant life passage from adulthood to elderhood and for Odyssey participants to be recognized as our community elders.

It is important that anyone attending the workshop commits to attending both Part 1 and Part 2 of the workshop and commits to writing their story during the month between the two sessions. Sound like a lot? Perhaps it is, but what better way to use this time of social isolation imposed by the pandemic than undertaking this introspective and rewarding journey with a group of supportive individuals. We even have tips for you on how to make your home your personal retreat center on the weekends we’ll be meeting on Zoom. 

Breeze link to register for Writing Retreat: