As I sit here typing in the nightly silence of Nevada desert, my mind is whisked away on the magic carpet of memory to Sandstone retreat. There the sun is shining and couples are laughing in the courtyard. I feel a hand rest on my shoulder…John’s hand…and I look around half expecting to see him standing behind me, his unruly blond hair spilling around his smiling face like a lion’s mane. I look around and see nothing but the office hat rack standing in the shadows.
Don’t feel sorry for me. I can take these mental journeys without regret, having come to the conclusion that Sandstone was more of a state of mind than a place. Once you have had the Sandstone experience, it never truly ends. John is still over my shoulder, though we’ve had to be together in a different way since the funeral.
You too can have the Sandstone experience, but don’t search for it with a map. It starts deep inside, in the person that hides behind the mask society and self-doubt forces one to wear. Let me tell you how we found it, and perhaps it will help you venture out toward new horizons.
There were unspoken dynamics inherent to the Sandstone lifestyle. As a social change organization, it encouraged personal growth through embracing positive change, openness, and flexibility. It was the quest to reach one’s potential that energized and structured the community. The serenade from the song birds started each day and set the tone for what followed. The rest of the day was a blank canvas waiting for the creative and playful impulses of the residents to fill in. What followed was spontaneous, but it was never anarchy. There is a deeply suppressed roadmap in human nature that draws us toward a very different order and pattern from the limits our so-called “civilization” puts on our humanity.
We gave interested couples an overview of what it was like to live in the community and what would be expected of them. It was imperative that all family members contributed to our common goal; to support and maintain all functions of the retreat.
Generally prospective members would first join the club to get a feel for the (lay of the land so to speak) and assess the flow of energies and activities of what to expect. If they were comfortable with the energies and felt they may want to be a part of the alternate life style inner community, next was to determine the skills they brought, their flexibility and above all possess a positive outlook on life. Next question was “how did they see themselves” and what could they offer the community.
It was a 15 acre estate that required continual maintenance from cleaning of the Olympic sized swimming pool, to scrubbing the drive ways to washing Eucalyptus acorns off the pavement that stabbed us in the bare feet while running from the main building to the pool house. Whatever needed to be done it was imperative someone be there to rise to fill that need. Examples: I was responsible for the club operations and John dealt with all media matters.
Visiting day members were there to enjoy the peaceful and calm retreat while sunbathing in the nude to soak up some delightful sunshine, relax and swim in the heated pool with temps set at 93 to 94 degrees.
Night time at Sandstone Retreat we hosted parties a couple (couples only) nights weekly. Sometimes more often! Everyone showed up dressed but quickly ditched their clothes to get into the swing of things. Dinner was enjoyed in the nude with much good conversation in the living room about Alternate living. After dinner many retired to the Ballroom to engage in sex, some in dancing under the twirling disco ball with a projector of wild colorful patterns on nude bodies. We loved our bodies and struggle to be whole beings. It was a cherished time in our pleasure palace. Nothing had ever been available like Sandstone Retreat, therefore, no one ever forgot their experiences at Sandstone Retreat as it was a one and only of its kind.